Whittingstall Coat of Arms / Whittingstall Family Crest
This surname of WHITTINGSTALL was a locational name - a placename in Northumberland. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. The name is a variant of WHITTONSTALL which means 'tunstall' or homestead with a quickset hedge. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries.
In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, England in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84.Early records of the name mention QUICTUNSTAL Newcastle l242. WHYTTONSTALL was recorded in the year l27l in Cambridgeshire. Mention is also made of WHITONSTALL in the year l307.
In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the l2th 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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