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De Moines Coat of Arms / De Moines Family Crest

This surname of DE MOINES which is of French origin was a name given to a male member of a religious order, a monk or friar, or a man of the cloth. The name was recorded in medieval documents in the Latin form of MONACHUS. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames during this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward I (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. An eminent member of the name was Sir James MacPherson Lemoine (1825-1912) a Canadian naturalist and writer born in Quebec. He became superintendent of Inland Revenue at Quebec in 1858. He studied archaeology, ornithology and other sciences, wrote on Canadian history, and was the first Canadian author to receive a knighthood. 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. The earliest French hereditary surnames are found in the 12th century, at more or less the same time as they arose in England, but they are by no means common before the 13th century, and it was not until the 15th century that they stabilized to any great extent; before then a surname might be handed down for two or three generations, but then abandoned in favour of another. In the south, many French surnames have come in from Italy over the centuries, and in Northern France, Germanic influence can often be detected.

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Last Updated: January 15th, 2021

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