The surname of WALTHAM was a locational name 'of Waltham' parishes in Counties Kent, Lincoln, Essex, Hampshire, Berkshire and Sussex. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land. Early records of the name mention Matilda de Waltham, 1273, County Norfolk. Thomas de Waltham of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). David Waltham of County Devon, registered at Oxford University in the year 1604. William Waltham and Anne Winch were married in Canterbury, Kent in 1663. The small villages of Europe, or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monastries, gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. Following the Crusades in Europe in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries a need was felt for an additional name. This was recognized by those of gentle birth, who realised that it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. 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. 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.
The associated arms are recorded in Burkes General Armory.
Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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