The surname of PALMER was originally derived from the Old French PAUMER, meaning one who made pilgrimage to the Holy Land, so called from the palm branch he carried. Such pilgrims generally brought back a palm branch as proof that they had actually made the journey, but there was a vigorous trade in false souvenirs, and the term also came to be applied to a cleric who sold indulgences. The name was originally brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and PALMERE (without surname) who was recorded in County Kent in 1086, 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 records of the name mention Ralph de le Palmere of the County of Yorkshire in 1273. Ricardus Palmer, mason, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Roger le Palmere of the County of Middlesex was documented in the year 1440. Henry Palmer and Agnes Hayes were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1565. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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