The Italian and French surname of PLACIDO was a locational name 'the dweller at the place' i.e. the stead, the farm, a mansion or villa. The surname arose from residence at such a spot. The name was originally rendered in documents in the Latin PLATEAU (meaning a broad street). Local surnames, by far the largest group, derived from a place name where the man held land or from the place from which he had come, or where he actually lived. These local surnames were originally preceded by a preposition such as "de", "atte", "by" or "in". The names may derive from a manor held, from working in a religious dwelling or from literally living by a wood or marsh or by a stream. The name has many variant spellings which include DUPLAIX, DEPLAIX, PLAICE, PLASSEM, LAPLACE, PIAZZA, PLATZER and PLESSIS. A notable member of the name is PLACIDO Domingo, born in 1941, the tenor from Madrid. He moved to Mexico with his family, and studied piano and conducting at the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City. In 1959 he made his debut as a baritone, took his first tenor role in 1960, and became a member of the Israeli National Opera in 1962 until 1965. He first sang in New York City in 1966, at La Scala in 1969 and at Covent Garden in 1971. He has made numerous recordings and film versions of operas. 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. 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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