The surname McKEEVER was a baptismal name 'the son of IVER' from the Norse personal name IVARR. The name is also spelt O'HURE, IVERS, MacKEEVER, and the family allowed their ancient and honourable name formerly Anglicized O'HEVER to be superseded by HOWARD, assumed one of the most aristocratic of English names. In 1292 the lands of Malcolm McIUYR and others were elected into the sheriffdom of Lorne. Donald McUVYR was a tenant of Ballegregane in the barony of Doune in 1499. Evander McIVER was a shoe-maker in Elgin in 1745. The Clan IVER lands were forfeited in the 17th century and were restored on condition that the heir should take the name of Campbell. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The associated arms are recorded in Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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