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Balistreri Coat of Arms / Balistreri Family Crest

Balistreri Coat of Arms / Balistreri Family Crest

This surname of BALISTRERI was an occupational name for a maker of crossbows, or for a soldier armed with a crossbow, originally derived from the Old French word BALESTE and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form BALLISTA, meaning military. During the Middle Ages, in Spain and Portugal the name came to be used as the title of a minister who slept in a room adjoining his master's, originally as a kind of bodyguard, and also of various other court officials involved in royal ceremonial. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. The name has travelled widely throughout Europe and the United States of America in many forms including Balla, Ballaster Ballista. 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. A notable member of the name was Severiano BALLESTEROS born in l957 who is the Spanish golfer born in Santander. Starting as a caddy to foreigners he became one of the world's leading golfers, a highly combative, adventurous player, he has continually set records and has an uncanny ability to produce thrilling recovery shots. When he won the British Open in 1979 he was the youngest player to do so in the 20th century and he took the title again in 1984 and 1988. His U.S. Masters win in l980 was the youngest ever, and he was only the second European to win the event and wear the coveted GREEN JACKET.

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last updated on: September 13 2018

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