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Holder Coat of Arms / Holder Family Crest

Holder Coat of Arms / Holder Family Crest

The surname of HOLDER was derived from the Old English word 'haldan' a tenant or occupier of land. It was also an occupational name for a tender of animals, and is possible that the name was also used in the wider sense of a holder of land within the feudal system that existed in the Middle Ages. It has also been suggested that the name was an earlier form of 'upholder' originally an auctioneer, one who held up goods for sale. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Almost every city, town or village existing in the Middle Ages has served to name one or more families. Where a man lived was his means of identification. When a man left his birthplace or village where he had been known, and went elsewhere, people would likely refer to him by the name of his former residence or birthplace, or by the name of the land which he owned. Early records of the name mention Geoffrey le Holder, 1262, Hertfordshire, and Robert le Holdere appears in County Gloucester in 1273. Robert Holdere was documented in Cambridge in the same year. 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 draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.


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last updated on: April 3rd, 2017

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