The associated coat of arms for this name 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. The surname of METTLER was originally a Low German baptismal name meaning 'the son of Matilda'. It was composed of the elements 'maht' meaning mighty, and 'hild' meaning strength. The name was borne in England by the daughter of Henry I who disputed the throne of England with her cousin Stephen for a number of years (1137-48). In Germany the popularity of the name in the Middle Ages was augmented by its being borne by a 10th century saint, the wife of Henry Fowler and mother of Otto the Great. The name has many variant spellings which include MAHEUT, METULA, METLER, MEHEU and MAHEUT. 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. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. 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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