The surname of STURGESS was a baptismal name 'the son of Thurgis'. The name was originally derived from the Old Norman name TORGILS, and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Early records of the name mention Hugo filius Turgisi, who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086, and Turgis Hy appears in London in the year 1221. William Sturgess appears in Wales in 1279, and Adam Thurgis was documented in the year 1353 in Bedfordshire. Johannes Sturgys of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Later instances include a Baptismal, John, son of John Sturgys at St.Dionis. Backchurch, London in 1626. Thomas Langham and Sarah Turgis were married at the same church in 1664, and Paul Bowes and Bridgett Sturgess wed at the London Faculty Office in 1666. Thomas Sturgis married Sarah Whitmee, St.George's, Hanover Square, London in 1785. Family names are a fashion we have inherited from the times of the Crusades in Europe, when knights identified one another by adding their place of birth to their first or Christian names. With so many knights, this was a very practical step. In the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries the nobles and upper classes, particularly those descended from the knights of the Crusades, recognised the prestige an extra name afforded them, and added the surname to the simple name given to them at birth. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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