The surname of WIANT was derived from the Old French Wiuhomarch, and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman conquest of 1066. This personal name which was borne by both men and women and became relatively popular in East Anglia during the early Middle Ages as a result of the influence of the Bretons who settled there in the wake of the Conquest. The name has numerous variant spellings which include WYMANN, WHYMANT, WHAYMAN, WHYMAND, WHAYMOND, WHAMOND, WEYMAN, WEYMOND and WYMANS. Early records of the name mention Robertus filius Wimarc, listed in the Domesday Book of 1086, as a tenant in the County of Essex. The name was documented as WIMARC (without surname) in 1219 County Yorkshire. Wymarc Mercatrix was documented in County Huntingdonshire in 1273, and Wymarca filius Roberti was recorded during the reign of Henry III (1216-1272). Edwin Weymont of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Johannes Wymarkson of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Wymerk de Bland, 1379, ibid. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name. Later instances of the name mention John Wymerk, of Oxford who registered at Oxford University in the year 1451. Ellis Wimarke was buried at St. Antholin, London in 1551. Matthias Wallraven and Mercy Waymarke were married at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in 1702. 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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