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ARSENAULT Family Crest / ARSENAULT Coat of Arms

ARSENAULT Family Crest / ARSENAULT Coat of Arms

This surname of ARSENAULT was a Russian baptismal name, originally from the Greek given name ARSENI, meaning 'virile, masculine'. This was the name of several minor early Christian saints, but owes its currency mainly to St. Arsenius the Great (died. circa 449) who was the tutor to the sons of the Emperor Theodosius, Honorius and Arcadius who divided the Roman Empire between them. The name is also spelt ARSINOE, the name of the the Macedonian princess, (2l7-3l6 BC) daughter of Ptolemy lst and one of the most conspicuous of Hellenistic Queens. Several cities were named after her. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. Russian surnames are almost exclusively patronymic (occasionally metronymic) in form, usually ending in 'ov' or 'ev'. Habitation and topographic names are rare, and many common Russian surnames are polygenetic, and their literal meaning is clear, even though the reason for their adoption may not be. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.


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last updated on: April 3rd, 2017

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