This surname of NESTLE is the Americanized form of the Russian surname NESTEROV, a baptismal name from the given name NESTER or NESTOR. It is the name of an old and wise hero in Homer's Iliad. The name is of obscure origin, perhaps from the Greek NESITHAI, meaning 'to return safely'. It was borne by a 3rd century Pamphilian bishop who became a popular saint in the Orthodox Church. Other spellings of the name include NESTEROV, NESTERIN, NESTOROVIC, NESIC and NESOVIC. 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. Many of the family of NESTEROV served the Russian Throne in noble positions and received fiefdoms in 1684 and other years. Russian surnames are almost exclusively patronymic (occasionally metronymic) in form, usually ending in 'ov' or 'ev'. Habitation and topographic names are rare, and many common Russian surnames are polygenetic, and their literal meaning is clear, even though the reason for their adoption may not be. Heraldry appeared later in Russia than in most other Western European countries. It is generally agreed that it was copied from the west sometime in the late 17th century, and quickly achieved state significance. In 1722 Emperor Peter I (The Great) established an official Heraldry Office headed by a Master of Heraldry under the jurisdiction of the Senate, and granted 355 armorial bearings in the 18th century. The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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