Most of the WAD families in Ireland will mostly descend from English immigrants who brought this English surname to the country. However, the Registrar of Births in the last century reported the interchangeable use of Wade and McQuade in Longford Union, County Longford and this may well not have been an isolated instance of a McQuade or McQuaid family becoming Wade. When the sparse Irish population began to increase it became necessary to broaden the base of personal identification by moving from single names to a more definite nomenclature. The prefix MAC was given to the father's christian name, or O to that of a grandfather or even earlier ancestor. 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 draped and flowing garment worn over the armour.
A notable member of the name was George Wade (1673-1748) the English soldier. He entered the army in 1690 and by 1743 he was commander in chief of George 11's. forces in England. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. The arms were confirmed to Rev. Frederick Tobias Wade M.A. Prebendary of Litchfield Cathedral and the Vicar of Kids Grove, County Stafford and to the other descendants.
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