This surname was derived from the Old English word WULFRIC, an ancient personal name, now long forgotten. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and Vlfricus (without surname) listed in the Domesday Book appears to be the first of the name on record. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conqueror. It is known as the Domesday book. Other instances of the name include Urrius de la Haie, recorded in 1148 in Hereford, and Reginaldus filius Vrri appears in 1182 in London. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but they were not commonplace in England or Scotland. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, as they realized the practical advantage and prestige it would add to their status. Hereues was recorded in County Surrey in the year 1208. and Geoffrey Orry was documented in 1235 in County Lancashire. Edward Horrey of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, and John Urie appears in County Lancashire in 1400. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification.
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