This unusual and interesting name is of Norman origin, and is found mainly in Scotland and the Midlands. The surname, also found as 'Bannerman', is occupational, describing a standard-bearer. The derivation of the name is from the Anglo-Norman French word 'banere', meaning flag, ensign, from the Olde French 'baniere', and the Latin 'bandaria', with the Middle English 'man', man, Olde English pre 7th Century 'mann'. One of the families called 'Bannerman' in Scotland has a tradition that they once held the hereditary office of banner-bearer to the king of Scotland, although since the Earl of Dundee held this office from 1298, this would make the Bannermans very early holders of the privilege if the tradition is true. Thomas and Charles Banner were herdsmen in Buchtrig, Scotland in 1684. Henry Banner and Eleanor Hemming were married in Warwick on the 13th November 1577, and Isabell Banner was christened at St. Martin's, Birmingham, on the 18th June 1585. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johanes Bannezour, which was dated 1429, in the Charters of the royal burgh of Ayr, during the reign of King James 1 of Scotland, 1406 - 1437. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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