Wallingford Coat of Arms / Wallingford Family Crest
This English surname of WALLINGFORD was a locational name meaning 'one who came from WALLINGFORD' (the settlement of WEALH's people) a borough and market town in Berkshire. The name was brought into England by early Scandinavian settlers. The Scandinavian element in English place names is very considerable. It is an outcome of the extensive Scandinavian settlements made in England from the latter half of the ninth century onwards. They were mostly Danes, but in the north-western parts of the country such as Cheshire, Lancashire, Westmorland, Cumberland and West Yorkshire, the settlers were mostly Norwegians. Many English names adopted by Scandinavians were changed in form to conform better to Scandinavian habits of speech. The earliest of the name on record appears to be WAELINGFORD (without surname) who was recorded in the year 821, and WELENGAFORD (without surname) was documented in the year 891. WALINGEFORD (without surname) was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. Later instances of the name include Wygood de WALINGFORD, who was recorded in the year 1273, and Bryan de WALINGEFORD of County Buckinghamshire, was documented in the same year. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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