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Seeling Coat of Arms / Seeling Family Crest

This German and Jewish surname of SEELING is from the Yiddish male given name ZELIK meaning 'fortunate, blessed' or from the modern German word SELIG of the same meaning. It was also a nickname for a person with a cheerful disposition, and was occasionally used as a female given name during the Middle Ages. The name is also spelt SEELIG, SEELIGER, SELLIG, SELIGSOHN, ZELIGSON and ZELICKI, to name but a few. A notable member of this name was Charles Gabriel SELIGMAN, (l873-l940) English anthropologist, born in London. He trained as a physician in London, then joined the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to the Torres Straits (l898-99) and carried out subsequent field research in New Guinea, Ceylon and the Sudan. His principal works, based on this research, include 'The Melanesians of British New Guinea' (l9l0) 'The Veddas (Ceylon)'(l9ll) and'Pagan Tribes of the Nilotic Sudan'(l932), the latter two volumes co-authored with his wife, Brenda, who collaborated in all his later research. Throughout the earlier part of his career, he continued with his studies in pathology, until his appointment in l9l3 to the first chair of ethnology at London University turned his interests decisively towards anthropology. He pioneered the application of a psychoanalytic approach and had a strong influence on the later work of both Bronislaw Malinowski and Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard. 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.

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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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