This surname of MILITELLO was the name applied to one who was of a body of citizen soldiers, usually with some military training, who are on call in emergencies, distinct from professional soldiers. In England, King Alfred established the first MILITIA in the 9th century, in which every freeman was liable to serve. After the Norman Conquest of 1066 a feudal levy was established in which landowners were responsible for raising the men required. This in turn, led to the increasing use of the general levy by English kings to combat the growing power of the barons. In the 16th century under such threats as the Spanish Armada, plans for internal defence rallied increasingly on the MILITIA, or what came to be called 'trained bands'. After the Restoration, the MILITIA fell into neglect, but was re-organized in 1757, and relied upon for home defence during the French wars; in the 19th century it extended its activities abroad, serving in the Peninsular, Crimean and South African wars. The principle of the MILITIA was introduced into the United States with the first settlers. After an Act of 1792 it more or less replaced the regular army. In Switzerland the MILITIA is the national defence force, and every able-bodied man is liable for service in it. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. 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 flowing and draped garment worn over the armour.
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