Hockensmith Coat of Arms / Hockensmith Family Crest
This German and Ashkenazic Jewish surname of HOCKENSMITH was a nickname for a tall person. The name was originally derived from the Old German word HOCH and the Yiddish word HOYKH, both meaning tall. The name is also spelt HOCHE, HOCHHUTH, HOHER, HOJMAN, HOGE, HOOGMAN and HOCHMANOVICH, to name but a few. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. A notable member of the name was Lazare HOCHE (1768-97) the French revolutionary soldier, born in Montreuil. Promoted from corporal to general, he defended Dunkirk against the Duke of York, and drove the Austrians out of Alsace (1793), ended the civil war in La Vendee (1775), commanded the invasion of Ireland (1796), and defeated the Austrians at Neuwied (1779). 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. Another notable member of the name is Rolf HOCHHUTH, born in 1931, the German dramatist. He studied history and philosophy at Munich and Heidelberg, and worked as an editor before turning to documentary drama. He also wrote a novel 'German Love Stories' (1978). The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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