The acquisition of surnames in Europe and England, during the last eight hundred years has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure, naming practices in cultures and traditions. On the whole the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working class or the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. The bulk of surnames in England were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in place names into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. The surname of WATROUS was a baptismal name 'the son of Walter'. It was one of the great fontal names of the 13th and 14th century, Wat being the popular nickname. The name is also spelt WATT, WATTS, WATRESS, WAITROSE, GWATIS WATSON and SWATROUS, to name but a few. Early records of the name mention William Wattes, 1273 County Oxford. Johannes Watson of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas Chamberlaine married Jane Watts, St.Mary, Aldermary, London in 1598. James Watt (1736-1819) was the Scottish inventor of the steam engine. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) English writer of hymms and poems for children. George Frederick Watts (1817-1904) English painter of portraits and allegorical pictures. 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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