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Precious Coat of Arms / Precious Family Crest

Precious Coat of Arms / Precious Family Crest

The English surname of PRECIOUS, which is found mainly in Yorkshire and Norfolk, was a nickname for a valued member of the community (perhaps sometimes used ironically). The name was originally rendered in the Old English form PRECIOS, and written in medieval documents in the Latin form PRETIOSUS, meaning price, or prize. It may also derive from a medieval given name, originally an affectionate nickname. The name is also spelt PRETIOUS, PRECIADO and PERSIADO. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. The earliest of the name on record appears to be PRESIOSA Potewyne, who was documented in County Cambridge in the year 1273, and PRECIOSA de Kirkeby, was recorded during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). PRECIOSA Scherwynd of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. 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. A later instance of the name mentions James Bickett and Mary PRECIOUS, who were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1739.


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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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