This surname MEAKINGS was a baptismal name 'the son of Matthew' an ancient personal name, now forgotten. Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Maikin de Eylesbury who was recorded in 1212 in Hampshire. Maikin Sutor of County Essex appears in 1223. Other records of the name mention Henry Maykin, County Cambridge, 1273. Maykin de Sythwyk of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Mekyn was documented in the year 1486 in Kent and Thomas Meekin was listed in the Wills of Chester in 1674. Richard Makin and Alice Langden were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1565. Henry Jenkinson and Isabel Makinson were married at St.James's Church, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1613. John Makings and Mary Scott were married at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in 1753 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. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
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