The surname WALN was a locational name 'the dweller at the wall that would defend the town or village'. The name was derived from the Old English word WALLE. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. There are several places of the name in Northumberland, and Wall-under-Haywood is a spot in Shropshire, from where the name may have derived. 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. Early records of the name mention WALLE (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. WALNE (without surname) was recorded in 1167 in County Lancashire. Godfrey atte WALNE County Essex, was documented in the year 1273. Willelmus WALNE of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Wall of Helsby, Lancashire, was recorded in the Wills at Chester in 1630. Baptised. George WALLE Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, in the year of 1682. Baptised, Richard, son of John WALL at Canterbury Cathedral, Kent in the year 1682. 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 and draped garment worn over the armour 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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