The surname of SNELMAN was a baptismal name 'the son of Snel' a favourite 13th century font name. The Normans had three kinds of names from different sources. First were names their Viking ancestors brought from Norway to France (8th Century).That's why they were Normans (Northmen). Second were names they found in France.The Franks (French) had come from Franconia in Germany and had crossed the Rhine to occupy the Roman Province of Gaul (5th Century) and called it France. They mixed Latin and German to create French, translating old Germanic names into it,ignoring existing Latin and Celtic (pre-Roman) names.The Viking Normans who also ditched their own language (except for the names) adopted French names as well. The third kind of Norman names were religious. They became Christians and the most religious of them used Saints names. The Normans between 1066 and 1170 conquered England, southern Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Sicily and southern Italy. They were followed everywhere by other French families and some Bretons (the pre-Roman Celts left in north-west France). To this day their names are found in Royalty,Politics and Big Business in these countries and in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States which their descendants colonised. It is possible that this name arrived in England from Holland in the form Van Der Snelle. Early records of the name mention Snel (without surname) 1273 County Derbyshire. Johannes Snell of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The name is also found as Snelston, Snelland and Snelsmore.
Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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