This surname is universal, originally from the popular medieval given name of biblical origin. The name was originally an Aramaic name meaning 'a twin' borne by one of the disciples of Christ, best known for his scepticism about Christ's resurrection (John 20:24-9). This disciple is stated by Eusebius, on no scriptural authority, to have borne the given name Judah. Before the Norman Conquest of 1066 the name is found only as the name of a priest or a man of the cloth. After this time it became one of the most popular christian names. 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. Early records mention Thomas (without surname) listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Alicia Thomas of Yorkshire was recorded in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas Wyatt married Nancy Thomason, St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1801. Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) was the British poet, born in Wales, and the author of 'Under Milk Wood' a play for voices. Arms recorded at Llwyn Madoc, County Brecon. Other notable members of the name include THOMAS (12th century) who was the Anglo-Norman poet. He was the author of the earliest extant text (c.1155-1170) of the legend of Tristan and Iseult. Thomas of Woodstock (1355-97) was the youngest son of Edward III. born at Woodstock. He was created Duke of Gloucestershire in 1385. He led the opposition of the lords appellant to Richard II, was arrested in 1397 and imprisoned at Calais, where he died.
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