The surname of SHELTON was a locational name 'of Shelton' a parish in County Norfolk near Long Stratton. There was also a place of the name in County Bedfordshire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The names of habitation are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages, farmsteads or other named habitations. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and in fact whole countries. As a general rule, the further someone travelled from his place of origin, the broader the designation. Someone who stayed at home might be known by the name of his farm or locality in the parish; someone who moved to another town might be known by the name of his village; while someone who moved to another county could acquire the name of the county or region from which he originated. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
Early records of the name mention ESELTONE (without surname) who was listed as a tenant on the Domesday Book of 1086. Sheltune (without surname) was recorded in Bedfordshire in the year 1107. Robert John de Shelton, was documented in the year 1191 in County Yorkshire. Edward Sheltone of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Shelton was documented in the year 1385 in Wales. Richard Shelton married Jane Hollingworth in London in the year 1561. Elizabeth Shelton was baptised at St. Jame's, Clerkenwell, London in 1700. 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. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory.
Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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