The surname of DE HAVEN is of German origin, a locational and occupational name 'one who lived and worked on a large farm'. The name later came to mean a chamberlain in a noble household or an official with similar functions in a religious house. Surnames are divided into four categories, from occupations, nicknames, baptismal and locational. All the main types of these are found in German-speaking areas, and names derived from occupations and from nicknames are particularly common. A number of these are Jewish. Patronymic surnames are derived from vernacular Germanic given names, often honouring Christian saints. Regional and ethnic names are also common. The German preposition 'von (from) or 'of', used with habitation names, is taken as a mark of aristocracy, and usually denoted proprietorship of the village or estate from where they came. Some members of the nobility affected the form VON UND ZU with their titles. In eastern Germany there was a heavy influence both from and on neighbouring Slavonic languages. Many Prussian surnames are of Slavonic origin. A noteworthy member of the name was the American explorer, Edwin Jesse De HAVEN, who was born in Philadelphia, in 1816. He became midshipman in the U.S. Navy in 1829 and ten years, later with the rank of acting master, sailed with the Wilkes expedition, which spent three years exploring the Pacific and Antarctica. He won a citation for bravery in the rescue men from one of the ships that sunk. In 1842 he was given the rank of Lieutenant and saw service in the Mexican War. He led an expedition arranged and financed by Henry Grinnell, with the support of the U.S. Government, having its object to find and rescue Sir John Franklin, the English explorer and his group, which had disappeared into the arctic regions. De HAVEN'S ships were caught in the ice and drifted a thousand miles. He failed to find Franklin, but discovered new arctic territory, which became known as Grinnell Land. 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.
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