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List Coat of Arms / List Family Crest

List Coat of Arms / List Family Crest

The surname LIST is of German and Dutch origin and derived from the nickname for a cunning or wily individual, from the Middle German LIST meaning guile or stratagem. The name has other variants, which include LISTMANN and LISTI. A notable member of this name was Friedrick LIST (l789-l846) German born American political economist, born in Reutlingen, Wurtemberg, a disciple of Adam Smith. He vigorously opposed tariff barriers between German states, and was charged with sedition in l824. In l825 he went to the USA and became a naturalized citizen. He was US consul at Baden, Leipzig and Stuttgart successively. A strong advocate of protection for new industries, he did much by his writings to form German economic practice. His main work was 'National System of Political Economy (l84l).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. The word Heraldry is derived from the German HEER, (a host, an army) and HELD, (champion): the term BLASON, by which the science is denoted in French, English, Italian and German, has most probably its origin in the German word 'BLAZEN' (to blow the horn). Whenever a new knight appeared at a Tournament, the herald sounded the trumpet, and as competitors attended with closed vizors, it was his duty to explain the bearing of the shield or coat-armour belonging to each. Thus, the knowledge of the various devices and symbols was called 'Heraldry'. The Germans transmitted the word to the French, and it reached England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. 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.


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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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