The Cornish name TREGOSSE is of locative origin, from Tregony, a spot in County Cornwall. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Almost every city, town or village existing in the Middle Ages has served to name one or more families. Where a man lived was his means of identification. When a man left his birthplace or village where he had been known, and went elsewhere, people would likely refer to him by the name of his former residence or birthplace, or by the name of the land which he owned. Early records of the name mention TREFGONI (without surname) who was documented in Cornwall in the year 1049. The name was recorded as TREGUNI in 1229. Edward Tregoe of County Cornwall was listed in the Poll Tax of 1379. The name is also spelt Tregoe and Tregoes. 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 a draped garment worn over the armour. Cornish names are unfortunately poorly documented for the Middle Ages, but present day Cornish names, somewhat surprisingly, do not follow the patronymic pattern of other Celtic languages. This may be attributed to the great influence of English bureauracy and English naming practices in Cornwall than in other countries at the time when surnames came into use. The majority of Cornish names are habitation names, or derived from medieval given names. 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.
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