This surname is of Old French origin, but recorded throughout Northern Europe from the medieval period. There are many spellings including the French Mont, Monte, and Dumont, the Spanish Montes and Montez, and the English Mount, Mounter, and Munt. The earliest recordings are in England, this being the first country in Europe to have a central government and parliament. The word was introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066, but however spelt and from whatever country, is a topographical name for someone who lived on or near a hill. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname dates back to the early 14th Century (see below), and early recordings include Richard le Monter in the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Somerset in 1327, and Alan atte Mount listed in the Close Rolls of London for 1334, and in Spain, the christening of Alonso de Montes, at Nuestra Senora de la Antigua, Valladolid, on March 8th 1598. Other recordings include Luiz Quedro Montez at Plasencia, Caceres, Spain, on August 26th 1600, and in California, Emary Augustus Mount, on March 23rd 1864 at Napa, and John Montes, at Belmont Shore, Los Angeles, on February 29th 1921. The coat of arms has the blazon of a silver field charged with five fusils in bend sinister, a canton in chief, with a gold lion rampant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard del Mount, which was dated 1301, in the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Yorkshire, England, 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.