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. This Polish surname of STIEGLITZ is a nickname which was applied to someone who had bright yellow hair. The name was derived from the Old Polish word SZCZYGIEL meaning 'goldfinch'. Other spellings of the name include SZEZYGIEL, SZCZGIELSKI, STEHLIK, and SHITIGLITZ. Nicknames usually originated as a by-name for someone by describing their appearance, personal disposition or character but which became handed down through the ages and did not apply to their descendants. The earliest Polish surnames were patronymic. The personal names from which they were derived were mainly Slavonic, but as the Middle Ages progressed, traditional Slavic given names, began to give way to saint's names, mainly of Latin origin. Surnames derived from Slavonic personal names are of early origin, and tend to be borne by aristocratic families. Many Polish people acquired their surnames by reason of former residence in a town or village. There are nearly 600 families bearing the arms of a horseshoe enclosing a cross. A notable member of the name was Alfred STIEGLITZ (1864-1946) the American photographer. Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, he studied engineering and photography in Berlin, and travelled extensively in Europe before returning to New York in 1890. He founded the Photo-Seccion Group in 1902, and exerted great influence through his magazine 'Camera Work' (1903-17) and his gallery of modern art at 291 Fifth Avenue, New York. Some names were changed by immigrants whilst on the boat heading for America and Australia. These transformations were usually to names thought by the immigrants to be more respected in their native land than the one he bore. Many Poles added 'ski' to their names to attain a higher social status since such names were accorded more respect from people of Polish extraction. Thus a larger proportion of Polish names carried this termination in America and Australia than in Poland.
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