Archiver > ADVANCED-RESEARCH > 2010-08 > 1281900284

From: "Kith-n-Kin" <>
Subject: Re: [ADVANRES] Beginning of Surnames
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2010 12:24:44 -0700
References: <DC03DC1F589B4531B20E83848F93E97E@Ralphs> <> <> <82DE1A163F8647E1904E7F9EEF0F54F1@Ralphs> <> <63719BAEE4D844C3893534634DFFFBBC@Ralphs> <> <73D8AF9584EC4B49B5F35F278C9FC006@Ralphs> <> <><> <000e01cb3bed$de7727f0$9b6577d0$@net><AC87DC4DFDC6474088AB52646CEDB8C7@Ralphs>
In-Reply-To: <AC87DC4DFDC6474088AB52646CEDB8C7@Ralphs>


The "marshalcy" references were interesting to me as well.

There are a few "marshalcy" references other than William/John, etc.

Before 1066 two sokemen of Earl Aelfgar had 1½ hides at Teversham, and two
men of Godwin 'Child' probably another hide, all of which passed after 1066
to Waleran son of Ranulf. By 1086 he or his son and successor John had also
appropriated a third hide, bought before 1066 from Earl Aelfgar by the abbot
of Ely. John's manor, at 3½ hides comprising half the vill, (fn. 78) did not
pass with his barony to the Tanys: (fn. 79) it was held, probably from the
early 12th century, with manors in Essex and Hampshire, by the grand
serjeanty of serving as a marshal in the king's household. By 1166 Henry II
had given Gillian, daughter of Robert Doisnel, heiress of that marshalcy,
with her lands in marriage to William fitz Audelin, later his steward. After
William died c. 1198, (fn. 80) Gillian's estates were claimed in 1199 by
William of Warbleton and Ingram de Monceaux, as her coheirs, possibly
collateral. About 1205 William divided those lands with Waleran de Monceaux,
Ingram's successor and perhaps brother; each took half the Teversham manor.
Warbleton as representing the senior line, and his successors as lords of
WARBLETONS manor had lordship over Waleran's share, later DENGAINES manor.
(fn. 81)"

[From: 'Teversham : Manors and other estates', A History of the County of
Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 10: Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and
Staploe Hundreds (north-eastern Cambridgeshire) (2002), pp. 173-178. URL:;strquery=marsh
alcy Date accessed: 15 August 2010.]

A "marshalcy" appears to be an honor bestoyed by the king, but which then
becomes hereditary. Pehraps someone on this list is more familiar with

Why this family eventually became known as "Marshall" when others who had
marshalcies did not, is curious.

Not to further muddy the waters, but in looking around yesterday I noted
that no sooner than the surnames became common, the "modifiers" had to
appear, so we had "Gilbert Marshall the younger" to distinguish from some
other Gilbert Marshall (I don't really remember if it was Gilbert or John
with that modifier, so please don't look it up that way).

This of course also led to the "junior" and "senior" as applied to both men
and women to distinguish between older and younger, father/son,
mother/daughter, here first/here later, etc.

In Tucson

-----Original Message-----
[mailto:] On Behalf Of Ralph Taylor
Sent: Saturday, August 14, 2010 3:48 PM
Subject: Re: [ADVANRES] Beginning of Surnames

Dear Pat,

I believe you have sufficiently established - despite Cheryl's contention
<G> - that William Marshall and his children used a true surname in the
modern sense; it meets the criteria. While it may have started as a title,
he passed it down to his children (& not just the eldest son) who did not
share the title. I had omitted most of the details; if that omission robbed
the citation of credibility, I apologize.

The Hussey manor reference is interesting. Do we know if "John the marshal"
(d. 1165) was related to William Marshal, earl of Pembroke, d. 1219? (This
is the same guy as above.) The "serjeanty of marshalcy" holding implies
that William was holding it for the king and not his own sake; thus it was
not inherited from John. I think this makes sense in the context of the 1066
owner having a Saxon name (Eddulf) and the manor passing to a bishop, thence
the crown?

I did find a citation for the statement: "By 1400 most English families, and
those from Lowland Scotland, had adopted the use of hereditary surnames.",
an article by Paul Blake accessed 14 Aug 2010 for the less-technical reader.

Another source,, attributes
the practice's beginning to the medieval French, from whence the Normans
brought it to England. A surname, "surnom", meant a name written --
literally -- above the given name. The examples given, however, seem to be
more sobriquets (e.g., "la blanc" for "the blond one") than true hereditary
family names.

>From that same site, another interesting factoid: "It has been estimated
that almost 50% of the male babies born by 1200 A.D. were using just four
common first names: William (15%), Robert (12%), Richard (11%) and Henry
(10%). Such percentages show the need, even by the Middle Ages, for a second
name of identification. As a result, PATRONYMIC naming conventions came into
play whereby son's were named after their father's, and sometimes even after
their mothers."


-----Original Message-----
[mailto:] On Behalf Of Kith-n-Kin
Sent: Saturday, August 14, 2010 2:19 PM
Subject: Re: [ADVANRES] Beginning of Surnames

Well, my curiosity was piqued here. I had to go back and check the
contemporary (i.e. Latin) references, as I was concerned that some later
translator had "modernized" the name.

The William Marshall I cited (a 1217 reference):

"mccxvij Capta est Lincolnia a Comite Ranulpho Cestrie et Willelmo
Marescallo et ceteris qui cum Rege Johanne [Henrico] tunc temporis tenuerunt
in vigilia Sancte Trinitatis."

was William who died in 1219, having in the meantime been created Earl of
Pembroke upon marrying Isabel de Clare, daughter or Richard de Clare, Earl
of Pembroke. They had five sons, as noted, none of whom had heirs. They
were William, Richard, Gilbert, Walter and Anselm.

1246 . . . Also Walter Marshal, earl of Pembroke, and Anselm, his brother,
died, and all the five sons of William, the old Marshal, expired without
children; that is to say, William, the eldest, by a natural death; Richard,
the second son, was slain in open battle, [in an insurrection] which he had
seditiously raised against his natural lord, Henry [III.], king of England;
Gilbert, the third son, [was killed] in a certain tournament, when, being in
armour and urging on his own horse, [he fell] from the same horse. The two
youngest [Walter and Anselm] died from disease. . .

Or, in the Latin:
Item obiit Walterus Marescall comes de Penbrok et Anselmus frater ejus et
sic defecerunt omnes v filii Willelmi veteris marescalli sine liberis (fn.
4) scilicet Willelmus primogenitus morte naturali, Ricardus secundus natu
occisus in bello campestri quod seditiose instruxerat contra naturalem
dominum suum Henricum Regem anglie: Gilbertus tertius in quodam tornamento
equum proprium agens armatus ab eodem equo ultimi morbo perierunt.

[From: 'The chronicle: 1235-61', Annales Cestrienses: Chronicle of the Abbey
of S. Werburg, at Chester (1887), pp. 60-79. URL:;strquery=&quot
;william marshal&quot; Date accessed: 14 August 2010.]

However, although William (the first of the name to be Earl of Pembroke,
after the de Clares) may have been referred to as "the Marshall" his name in
contemporary writings was William Marshall. And, as seen from "Walterus
Marescall" this name was passed down through the sons. Which was one of the
criteria we were looking at for "inherited surnames" as opposed to "place,"
"occupation" and other sobriquets.

I did find a reference (but not contemporary) to "John the marshall" in the
History of North Tidworth:

" The 5-hide estate that came to be called HUSSEY manor after its
13th-century lords was held in 1066 by Eddulf and in 1086 by Odo, bishop of
Bayeux. (fn. 90) It was among the bishop's estates which may have been held
by John the marshal (d. 1165) and passed to William Marshal, earl of
Pembroke (d. 1219), who held it by serjeanty of marshalcy. The overlordship
passed with the marshalcy to William's son William, earl of Pembroke (d.
1231), whose relict Eleanor (d. 1275) and her husband Simon de Montfort,
earl of Leicester, held it in 1248. (fn. 91) The overlord in 1290 was the
marshal, Roger le Bigod, earl of Norfolk (d. s.p. 1306), (fn. 92) and the
marshal was overlord in the 14th century. (fn. 93)"

[From: 'Parishes: North Tidworth', A History of the County of Wiltshire:
Volume 15: Amesbury hundred, Branch and Dole hundred (1995), pp. 153-163.
t;william marshal&quot; Date accessed: 14 August 2010.]

John the marshal was apparently son of Gilbert, who doesn't appear to have a
surname. John the marshall appears to have had sons William and Gilbert.

In Tucson

-----Original Message-----
[mailto:] On Behalf Of Cheryl Rothwell
Sent: Saturday, August 14, 2010 11:05 AM
Subject: Re: [ADVANRES] Beginning of Surnames

I should correct that to he had children but his sons had no legitimate
heirs, mostly no children although one may have had an illegitimate child,
don't recall. The daughters were more prolific.

On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 8:36 PM, Jacqueline Wilson

> I knew that it was William the Marshall and forgot to say that in
> answer to Ralph's post. . . .
> On Aug 13, 2010, at 8:21 PM, Cheryl Rothwell wrote:
> That person was actually William the Marshall and he had no sons [or
> daughters]. Katherine de Roet was from Picardy in France. Her
> father's name. . .

> > We see some true surnames among English nobility in the 1200s. One
> > example,
> > sent to me by Pat in Tucson ("Kith-n-Kin"), was a report of William
> > Marshal,
> > regent for 10-year-old Henry III, and others (without surnames)
> > capturing
> > Lincoln in 1217. William passed the Marshal name to his sons.
> >

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