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. (ROLANDI). This French surname of ROLANDO was derived from a Norman personal name ROLLANT, composed of the Germanic elements HROD (renown) + LAND (land, territory). The name was popular throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, as a result of the fame of Charlemagne's warrior of this name, who was killed at Roncesvalles in AD 778. The name has numerous variant spellings which include ORLANDUS, ROWLAND, ROLLAND, ROLLANT, ORLANDO, ORLANDINI, ORLANDELLI, ORLANDUCCI, and ORLANDONI, to name but a few. A notable of the name includes ORLANDO de Lasso (circa.1532-94) the musician and composer, born in Mons, Belgium. He travelled widely, visiting Italy, England and France. In 1570 he was ennobled by Maximilian II, and received the knighthood of the Golden Spur. He wrote over 2000 compositions, secular pieces as well as church music. 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. America was colonized by peoples from all over the world in a very short period of time, and mostly, in the case of French immigrants they have stayed together in Louisiana. Of the early immigrants to America the French have fared the worst in respect of their names, chiefly because of the difficulties experienced by the Americans in pronouncing them correctly. Many have been translated into English names. French heraldry bears a close relationship to British. From the Renaissance people tended to place only their coronets of rank upon their helmets. By the 18th century the helmet had also been abandoned and coronets were placed directly above the shield. After the French Revolution of 1789, heraldry was abolished, being replaced some 15 years later by a new Imperial heraldry, characterised by weapons and images of Napoleonic campaigns, crests, helmets and mottoes being removed.
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