The surname of NASSAU has the associated coat of arms recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Earl of Rochford: extinct in 1830: (Frederick de Nassau, the illegitimate son of Henry Frederick de Nassau, Prince of Orange, the grandfather of William III was the father of William Henry de Zuyleston, the confidential friend of William III, who raised him to the Peerage of England in 1695). 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. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings. The name was of German origin, a locational name meaning one who came from Nassau or Nassauer, which was the name of two places in Germany. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The German royal house of Nassau traces its descent from Dudo, County of Lauenberg, who flourished between 1093 and 1117. His family acquired the county of Nassau in the 12th century. 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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