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Oehme Coat of Arms / Oehme Family Crest

The surname of OEHME is of German and Swedish origin, a name given to a man who acted as guardian to a niece or young nephew after the death of the father. The name is also spelt HEAM, HEME, OHEIM, EHEIM, EHAM, EHA and OOMEN. The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages. A noteworthy person of the name was Georg Simon OHM (1789-1854). He was the German physicist, and became professor at Nuremburg (1833-49) and Munich (1849-54), after a long struggle to get due recognition for the importance of his work. OHM's LAW had been published in 1827, as a result of his researches in electricity, and the measure of resistance is called the OHM. 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. The Swedes have in recent times combined two words together to manufacture family names to take the place of their common patronymics, terminating in - SON. These words are not just any words, but are usually nature words combined for easy pronunciation. This custom has been actively encouraged by the Swedish government and there are some 56,000 combinations of the variants. 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: May 9, 2020

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