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Kerl Coat of Arms / Kerl Family Crest

The name KERL was originally derived from the Germanic personal name Carl, meaning Man, which was Latinized as Carolus. 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. In France the name was popular at an early date, due to the fame of the Emperor Charlemagne (742-814). The Old form Charles was briefly introduced to England by the Normans, but was rare during the main period of surname formation. It was introduced more successfully to Scotland in the 16th century by the Stuarts, who had strong ties with France. The name was not in use among the general population in the Scandinavian speaking countries, and was restricted to the nobility. It has now spread widely and has many variant spellings which include KEHRL, KAROLYI, KARL and KEERL, to name but a few. Because of the close relationship between the English and German languages, some Germans are able to transform their names to the English form just by dropping a single letter. Many Germans have re-spelt their names in America. A great number of immigrants from Germany settled in Pennsylvania. After the start of the first World War, Germans in great numbers Anglicized their names in an effort to remove all doubt as to their patriotism. Afterwards some changed back, and then during World War II the problem became acute once more, and the changing started all over again, although not with as much intensity. German or Teutonic heraldry extended its sphere of influence over central Europe and spread into Scandinavia. It is most notable for its design and treatment of crests, most of which reflect the arms in the charge or tinctures (colours) or both, which is unknown in British heraldry. Teutonic Europe assembled many arms on a single shield, each bearing its corresponding crest on a helmet.

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last updated on: September 13 2018

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