The surname of KRANS was a locational name 'one who came from Krantz or Kranz' the name of several places in Germany. 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. It was also a metonymic occupational name for a maker of chaplets and wreaths or a house name for someone who lived in a house distinguished by the sign of a garland. The name has numerous variant spellings which include CRANS, CRANTZ, KRANZLER, KRANC, KRENZLE and KRANZBAUM. The surname KRANTZCKE was established in London at the end of the 18th century, with Frederick KRANTZCKE (1779-1850) a tailor. The name has now died out in England. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization. The associated arms are recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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