This French surname of NAZARIO is from the given name NAZAIRE, which was common in the Middle Ages in France as a result of the popularity of a 5th-century saint, so called, abbot of LERINS. The name represents a form of the Latin LAZAREUS, applied to early Christians as followers of Jesus of NAZARETH and accepted by them as an honourable personal name. The name has many variant spellings which include NAZOR, NAZZARI, NAZARI, NAZZARO, NAZARSKI, NAZAROV, NAZARYEV, NAZARIAN, ZARGES, ZERGES, ZERRIES, and NAZARTSEV (Russian). 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. A notable member of the name was Vladimir NAZOR (1876-1949) the Croatian poet, born in Postire on the island of Brac. He wrote lyrics and ballads as well as epic poems and dramatic works. His works include 'Slav Legends' (1900) and a diary of his experiences with the Yugoslav partisans in World War II. French, or rather Norman French, was the language of the aristocracy and the upper classes in England at the time fixed surnames were being developed, it is therefore not surprising that many of our well-known family names are derived from French words. Originally only Christian or personal names were used, and although a few came into being during the 10th century, surnames were not widely used until much later, when people began to realize the prestige of having a second name. As early as the year 1100, it was quite common for English people to give French names to their children, and the earliest instances are found among the upper classes, both the clergy and the patrician families. The Norman-French names used were generally the names most commonly used by the Normans, who had introduced them into England during the Norman Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066.
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