The surname of RECORDS was derived from the Old German 'Ricard' a font name meaning powerful and brave. The name was introduced into England by the Normans during the Norman Conquest of 1066, and was usually Latinized at Ricardus. Early records of the name mention Ricard (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086 and Richewardus de Westberi was recorded in the year 1190 in Berkshire. Rikeward Kupere appears in 1296 in County Sussex and Rogere Recard 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 draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Later instances of the name mention Henry, son of George Rickard, who was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1602, and Bathaniel Rickward and Grace Wosted were married in London in the year 1625 (no church given). 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 the main 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.
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