This surname of HINRICHSEN was originally from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements HEIM (home) and RIC (power) meaning 'home-rule). The name was introduced into England by the Normans in the form HENRI. During the Middle Ages this name became enormously popular in England and was borne by eight kings. Continental forms of the name were equally popular, in Germany as Heinrich, France, Henri etc. In the period in which the majority of surnames were formed in England, a common vernacular form of the name was HARRY; official documents of the period normally used the Latin form HENRICUS. The name is also spelt HEINRICH, HEINZLER, HENKENS, HEINKEL, HENKELS and HENTZELER. A notable member of the name was Ernst HEINRICH HEINKEL (1888-1958) the German aircraft engineer, born in Grunbach. He founded in 1922 the HEINKEL-FLUGZEUGWERKE at Warnemunde, making at first sea-planes, and later bombers and fighters which achieved fame in World War II. He built the first jet plane, the HE-178 in 1939 and also the first rocket powered aircraft, the HE-176. The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages. The word Heraldry is derived from the German HEER, (a host, an army) and HELD, (champion): the term BLASON, by which the science is denoted in French, English, Italian and German, has most probably its origin in the German word 'BLAZEN' (to blow the horn). Whenever a new knight appeared at a Tournament, the herald sounded the trumpet, and as competitors attended with closed vizors, it was his duty to explain the bearing of the shield or coat-armour belonging to each. Thus, the knowledge of the various devices and symbols was called 'Heraldry'. The Germans transmitted the word to the French, and it reached England after the Norman Conquest of 1066.
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