The associated coat of arms for this name LANGEVIN are recorded in J.B Rietstaps Armorial General. Illustrated by V & H.V Rolland's. This monumental work took 23 years to complete and 85,000 coats of Arms are included in this work. This French surname was of the locational group of surnames meaning 'one who came from Langevin' the name of several places in France. The earliest French hereditary surnames are found in the 12th century, at more or less the same time as they arose in England, but they are by no means common before the 13th century, and it was not until the 15th century that they stabilized to any great extent; before then a surname might be handed down for two or three generations, but then abandoned in favour of another. In the south, many French surnames have come in from Italy over the centuries, and in Northern France, Germanic influence can often be detected. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. A notable member of the name was Sir Hector Louis Langevin (1826-1906), Canadian statesman, born in Quebec. He was called to the bar in 1850 and became mayor of Quebec (1858-60). Thereafter he held many government posts, including solicitor - general (1864-66), postmaster - general (1860-67) and secretary of state (1867-69). Another of the name was Paul Langevin (1872-1946) French physicist. Professor at the Sorbonne (1909), he was noted for his work on the molecular structure of gases, and for his theory of magnetism. Imprisoned by the Nazis after the occupation of France, he was later released and, though kept under surveillance at Troyes, managed to escape to Switzerland. After the liberation he returned to Paris.
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