Setterington Coat of Arms / Setterington Family Crest
The ancient surname of SETTERINGTON was an occupational name 'the setter' meaning one who fixed arrow-heads to the shaft. It was also a name used for one who embroidered copes (a vestment like a cloak without sleeves, worn by the clergy in procession). A popular occupation in medieval times. The name is also spelt SETTERON and SETTER. The earliest of the name appears to be Clemet le SETTTERE, who was recorded in London in 1185, and Alexander le SETTERE was documented in Yorkshire in 1273. In 1307 Alexander de SETTERE 'received W10.00 in part payment of _40.00 for an embroidered choir cope, and undertook well and fittingly to complete it'. John de Belegame SETTER was Freeman of York, during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identify individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. Later instances of the name mention Thomas Harford and Barbary SETTER, who were married in Canterbury, Kent in the year 1685. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization.
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