Hinderliter Coat of Arms / Hinderliter Family Crest

Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. There is a large group of surnames, more frequent in French, German and Italian names, which are actually a compound of nickname and patronymic. They consist of an adjective indicating size or an attractive quality as a prefix attached to a given name. HINDERLITER is such a name literally meaning the small man who lived at the back of a village or beyond the main settlement. The name was derived from the Old German word HINDER. It was also an English nickname for a crafty, anxious and fretful person. The name is also spelt HIND, HINDE, HINNER, HINTNER, HINDERER and HINDERMANN. The earliest known bearer of the English name is William HINDER, who was living in Gloucestershire about the year 1214. All present-day bearers of the name are probably descended from a family living in Latton, Wiltshire in the early 16th century. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries.

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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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