Officer

Officer - what does Officer surname mean?

This interesting surname is of Anglo-Norman French origin, and has two possible sources. Firstly, the surname may derive from the Anglo-Norman French `officer`, officer, an agent derivative of the Old French `office`, duty, service, from the Latin `officium`, service, task, and would have been an occupational name for the holder of any office. Secondly, the surname may be an occupational name for a sewer of gold embroidery, from the Anglo-Norman French `orfroiser`, an agent derivative of the Old French `orfrois`, Late Latin `auriphyrigium`, Phrygian gold; the Phrygians being famed in antiquity for their gold embroidery. Alicia aurifrigeria is noted in the 13th Century Subsidy Rolls of London. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the christening of William, son of John Officer, on November 15th 1635, at Frampton, Lincolnshire; the christening of James, son of James and Jane Officer, at St. Mary`s Whitechapel, Stepney, London, on January 17th 1703; and the christening of Thomas, son of Joseph Officer, on March 6th 1728, at All Saints, Wakefield, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam le Orfreyser, which was dated 1302, in the `Earliest Canterbury Freemen`s Rolls`, Kent, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as `The Hammer of the Scots`, 1272 - 1307. 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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