The surname of POPOVICH is a Russian, Bulgarian and Croation patronymic from the occupational term POP, meaning priest. The name may have derived from a nickname for someone who acted and behaved like a priest, but celibacy was not enjoined on priests of the Orthodox Church, and so the name normally means 'the son of the priest'. The name is also spelt PAPATOV, POPOVIC, POPA, POPESCUL and POPENKO. Sergei POPOV of the Company of Life Guards by the command of Her Highness Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, dated December 31st 1741 was granted a rank of nobility along with all of his legal descendants. 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. A notable member of the name was Liubov Sergeevna POPOVA (1889-1924) the Russian painter and stage designer, born near Moscow. After studying in Paris (1912-1913) she returned to Russia, where she met Tatlin, the founder of the Soviet Constructivism. In the year before her death she designed textiles for the First State Textile Print Factory in Moscow, where she was given a special exhibition in 1924.
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