This surname of PYEMAN is of three origins. It was an occupational name for a maker or seller of pies, or a nickname for one with the characteristics of a magpie. It was also a baptismal name 'the son of Peter'. The name Peter was extremely popular throughout Christian Europe in the Middle Ages, as it had been bestowed by Christ as a byname on the apostle Simon bar Jonah, the brother of Andrew. The name was chosen for its symbolic significance, and is a translation of the Aramaic 'kefa' meaning a rock. St. PETER is regarded as the founding father of the Christian Church in view of Christ's comment 'Thou art PETER and upon this rock I will build my Church'. In Christian Germany in the 14th century it was the most frequent given name. In England the vernacular form of PIERS was usual at the time when surnames were being assumed. The name has numerous variant spellings which include PETER, PEET, PEAT, PEADIE, PITOLLI, PERULLI, PIEMAN, PYMAN and PYE. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. Early records of the name include Ralph Eustace PIE who was recorded in the year 1177 in Yorkshire, and William le PYE appears in Sussex in 1296. Adam le PIEMAKERE was recorded in London in 1332, and John PYMAN was documented in Sussex in 1524. The arms depicted here are the arms of PETER.
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