The surname of NAYLOR was derived from the Old English NAEGEL - a maker of nails. The name is found early in the North of England and frequently in mediaevel records. The name is also spelt Nailor and Naylar. Early records of the name mention Stephen le Naillere of London in 1231. James le Nayler of the County of Yorkshire in was documented in the year 1273. John de Naillour was documented in County Northumberland, during the reign of Edward III. (1327-1377). Willelmus Naylor of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. 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. 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 instances of the name include Robert Nayler and Margaret Larke who were married at St. James's. Clerkenwell, London in 1565. William, son of Wylfrecan Naylor was baptised at the same church in 1603. John Hicks and Sarah Nailor were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1744. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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