This interesting surname relates back to the origins of chivalry and heraldry, and is from an occupational descriptive name, derived from the Middle English and Old French "page", a friend or servant, or a knighthood - many preferred to stay as a page. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The name is not recorded in England before the Norman Conquest of 1066, and the surname was first recorded in the mid 13th Century (see below), while William le Page appeared as a witness in the Court of Fines for Essex, dated 1240. Recordings from Leicestershire Church Registers include: the marriage of Margery Page and William Webster on May 21st 1541, at Loughborough; the christening of Barbara, daughter of Thoma Page, on October 29th 1574, at South Kilworth; and the marriage of Dunstone Page and Margery Norton on July 25th 1584, at Thurcaston-cum-Cropston. Thomas Page, with his wife and two children were some of the earliest settlers in the New World Colonies, leaving London on the "Increase", bound for New England in April 1635. Sir Francis Page (1661 - 1741), was a Barrister of the Inner Temple from 1690, and was known by his contemporaries as "the hanging judge". The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is on a black shield a silver fess between three silver doves beaked and armed red. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Page, which was dated 1230, in the "Pipe Rolls of Devonshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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