This surname MORENO is of two-origins. It was a Spanish and Portugese nickname for someone with dark hair and a swarthy complexion, originally derived from the Latin MAURINUS. The name was also borne by Sefardic Jews, probably of the same origin as the Spanish and Portugese names. It has been suggested that this was a name for a Rabbi, from the Hebrew honorific title MORENU 'our master'. Spanish surnames are to be found from as early as the mid-9th century, as patronymics, and hereditary surnames seem to have come in slightly later than in England and France. In many cases the names of the traditional major saints of the Christian church were used, although many of the common Spanish surnames are derived from personal names of Germanic origin. For the most part these names are characteristically Hispanic. They derive from the language of the Visigoths, who controlled Spain between the mid-5th and early 8th centuries. In the 8th century, Spain fell under the control of the Moors, and this influence, which lasted into the 12th century, has also left its mark on Hispanic surnames. A few names are based directly on Arabic personal names and patronymic expressions, but the Arabic influence is more pervasively apparent indirectly, through its effect on placenames and vocabulary words. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General. Registered in Castille, Aragon.
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