This surname of ARANDA was a Spanish habitation name from any of various places, for example in the province of Burgos and Sarragossa. The placename may be from the Latin ARANDA (arable land from the gerundice of ARARE to plough) or from the Celtic elements 'are-randa' meaning the dweller next to the frontier or one who dwelt near a valley. In the 8th century, Spain fell under the control of the Moors, and this influence, which lasted into the 12th century, has also left its mark on Hispanic surnames. A few names are based directly on Arabic personal names. The majority of Spanish occupational and nickname surnames, however, are based on ordinary Spanish derivatives. The name is also spelt ARANA and ARENAS. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. A notable member of the name was Pedro Pablo Abarca y Bolea, Count of ARANDA (l7l8-l799). He was a Spanish statesman and General born in Sietano. He was made Ambassador to Poland in l760 but in l766 was recalled to Madrid and made Prime Minister, with the task of restoring order after risings. He managed to expel the Jesuits, alleged perpetrators of the disorders, from Spain in l767, but in l773 fell from power and was sent to France as Ambassador. Returning in l787, he became Prime Minister again in l792 and eventually died in Aragon in enforced retirement.
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