This ancient surname of MARPLES was a locational name 'the dweller by the maple trees' from residence nearby. The name is familiar to Yorkshire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name was originally derived in the Old English word MERPEL, and the earliest of the name on record appears to be MERPHULL (without surname) who was recorded in Cheshire in the year 1248. MERPIL (without surname) was documented in Cheshire in 1285. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but most of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name. Later records of the name mention Thomas de MAPPPLES, who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Edenstoure, County Derby, confirmed on the 20th September, 1574. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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