This Spanish French and Italian surname of ARGUIJO was originally rendered in the Latin form ARGENTUM. This was probably most commonly a nickname for someone with silvery grey hair, but it may also have been originally an occupational name for a worker in the metal. It could also have meant one who lived near a silver mine. There are several French towns and villages named with this word, because silver was mined there. It was also a locational name 'of Argentan' a town in south Normandy. David de Argentomago was a tenant in chief under the Conqueror in 1066, in counties Bedford and Cambridge. His descendants were ennobled as Barons Argentine. 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. In Spain identifying patronymics are to be found as early as the mid-9th century, but these changed with each generation, and hereditary surnames seem to have come in slightly later in Spain than in England and France. As well as the names of the traditional major saints of the Christian Church, many of the most common Spanish surnames are derived from personal names of Germanic origin. For the most part these names are characteristically Hispanic. They derive from the language of the Visigoths, who controlled Spain between the mid-5th and early 8th centuries. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. The lion depicted in the crest is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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