The illustrious surname Ethcerd finds its origin in the rocky, sea swept coastal area of southwestern England
known as Cornwall
. Although surnames were fairly widespread in medieval England
, people were originally known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames
were adopted is extremely interesting. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal
System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Lords and their tenants often became known by the name of the feudal
territory they owned or lived on. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic
names, the Cornish predominantly used local
surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People
at the time that surnames first came into use. Local
surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Ethcerd is a local type of surname and the Ethcerd family lived in Cornwall. Their name, however, translates as the dweller at the eastern cottage,
and indicates that the original bearer lived in such a place.
Early Origins of the Ethcerd family
The surname Ethcerd was first found in Cornwall
where they held a family seat
from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest
and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Early History of the Ethcerd family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ethcerd research.Another 69 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1570, 1624, 1607, 1624, 1668, 1712, 1601, 1668, 1628, 1629, 1676, 1684, 1587, 1563, 1571, 1572, 1584 and 1586 are included under the topic Early Ethcerd History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ethcerd Spelling Variations
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England
, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations
often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall
and the rest of England
. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic
language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Estcourt, Estcott, Estcotte, Eastcourt, Escott and many more.
Early Notables of the Ethcerd family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was Sir Thomas Estcourt (c.
1570-1624), an English lawyer and politician, High Sheriff
in 1607, Member of Parliament for Gloucestershire
in 1624; Sir Edward Estcourt of Salisbury; Richard Estcourt (1668-1712), an early English actor, active playing comedy parts in Dublin; and Sir... Another 120 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ethcerd Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ethcerd family to the New World and Oceana
An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Ethcerd: Thomas Escott who settled in Virginia in 1680.