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Nordyke Coat of Arms / Nordyke Family Crest

Nordyke Coat of Arms / Nordyke Family Crest

This Swedish surname of NORDYKE is a topographic name for someone who lived in the northern part of a village, or to the north of a main settlement. It may also have been applied to someone who had migrated from the north. The name was derived from the elements NORD (north) + DYKE (dyke). Habitation names were originally acquired by the original bearer of the name, who, having lived by, at or near a place, would then take that name as a form of identification for himself and his family. When people lived close to the soil as they did in the Middle Ages, they were acutely conscious of every local variation in landscape and countryside. Every field or plot of land was identified in normal conversation by a descriptive term. If a man lived on or near a hill or mountain, or by a river or stream, forests and trees, he might receive the word as a family name. Almost every town, city or village in early times, has served to name many families. The name has many variant spellings which include NORDMAN, NORBERG (north hill), NORRBY (north settlement), NORDAHL (north valley), NORDLUND (north grove), NORDLOF (north leaf), NORDMARK (north land), NORDQUIST (north twig) and NORDSTROM (north river) to name but a few. In the 17th century, so-called 'soldiers' names are found as the earliest kind of hereditary surnames in Sweden. These names were derived from vocabulary words, usually martial-sounding monosyllables such as Rapp (prompt) Rask (bold), or occasionally names of animals and birds. The names were bestowed on soldiers for administrative purposes, and no doubt in some cases derived from pre-existing nicknames. Most Swedes did not adopt hereditary surnames until a century or more later, and the patronymic system was still in use in rural areas until late in the 19th century. In the absence of evidence to the contrary it is thought that people may have adopted their surname from the area in which they lived. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.


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last updated on: November 23rd, 2019

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