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Heidrick Coat of Arms / Heidrick Family Crest

Heidrick Coat of Arms / Heidrick Family Crest

The surname of HEIDRICK was from the German medieval given name HEIDENTREICH, ostensibly composed of the elements HEINDE (heathen, infidel) and REICH (power, rule). The name was extremely popular at the time of the Crusades in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, the sense 'power over the heathens' being attributed to it. The name has numerous variant spellings which include HETTERICH, HEIDREICH, HEYDENRYCH, HADRICH, HEIDEL, HIEDLE, HEIDECKE, HEYDICK and HARICKE. The name was also a topographic name for someone who lived on a heath, or by a place where heather grew. 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. 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. An infamous member of the name was Reinhard HEYDRICH 'the hangman' (1904-42) the Nazi politician and deputy-chief of the Gestapo, born in Halle. 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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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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