This Polish surname of DEMBSKI is also spelt DEMBINSKI, DEMBKE and DEMINSKY. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General. Registered in Poland. The earliest Polish surnames were patronymic. The personal names from which they were derived were mainly Slavonic, but as the Middle Ages progressed, traditional Slavic given names, began to give way to saint's names, mainly of Latin origin. Surnames derived from Slavonic personal names are of early origin, and tend to be borne by aristocratic families. Some names were changed by immigrants whilst on the boat heading for America. These transformations were usually to names thought by the immigrants to be more respected in his native land than the one he bore. Many Poles added 'ski' to their names to attain a higher social status since such names were accorded more respect from people of Polish extraction. Thus a larger proportion of Polish names carried this termination in America than in Poland.
Henryk DEMBINSKI (1791-1864) was the Polish soldier, born near Cracow. He entered the Polish army in 1809, and fought under Napoleon against Russia and at Leipzig (1813). In the Polish revolution of 1830 he was commander-in-chief; in 1833 he entered the service of Mekemt 'Ali. On the outbreak of the Hungarian insurrection in 1848 he was again appointed commander-in-chief'. He was the author of 'Memoires' (1833) and four other works. 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 arms 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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