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. This French surname of NOLETTE was a baptismal name meaning 'the son of Bernard'. The popularity of this given name among the Normans in the centuries immediately following the Conquest of 1066, was greatly increased by virtue of its having been borne by St. Bernard of Clairvaux (circa 1090-1153) founder and abbott of the Cistercian Monastery at Clairvaux, and in Holland and Germany it vied with Arnold as the most popular given name during the 13th and 14th centuries. Another sanctified bearer of the name was St. Bernard of Menthin (923-1008) founder of Alpine hospices and patron saint of mountaineers, whose cult accounts for the frequency of the name in Alpine regions. The name has numerous variant spellings which include NOLLET, NOLOT, NOLIN, BERNAT, BERNARDOS, BERARDT, NULLET, NOLINE, BERNI and BERNAT, to name but a few. A notable member of the name was Jean Antoine NOLLET (1700-70) the French abbe and physicist. He was professor of physics at the College de Navarre in Paris, and in 1748 he discovered osmosis, invented an electroscope and improved the Leiden jar. 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. In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, England in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84.
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