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Van Dale Coat of Arms / Van Dale Family Crest

The Dutch, Norgwegian and Danish surname of VAN DALE was a topographic name for someone who lived in a valley, or a habitation name from any of the numerous minor places named with this word. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries The name is also spelt DAHL, DAALMAN, DALEMAN, DAILE, THAL, THALLER, THALMAN, DAELMAN and DAALMAN. The Dutch language is most closely related to Low German, and its surnames have been influenced both by German and French naming practices. The preposition 'van' is found especially with habitation names, and the 'de' mainly with nicknames. Compared to other countries, Dutch heraldry is notably simpler, some of the shields bearing only a single charge. Generally speaking one helmet, one shield and one crest has been used, quartering is uncommon and mottoes are rare. Norwegian is a north Germanic language of the West Scandinavian division. There are two distinct forms known as Dano-Norwegian (Bokmal or Riksmal) and New Norwegian (Nynsork or Landsmal). Bokmal derives from written Danish, the language used during the union with Denmark (1397-1814). Nynsork was created by the scholar Ivas Aasen (1813-96) to revive the tradition of Old Norwegian, which was closely related to Old Norse speech. Bokmal is more widely used. The practice of adopting surnames spread to Denmark and Norway from Germany, during the late Middle Ages, but until the 19th century, they were neither fixed nor universal. The Danish state has in recent years been encouraging the adoption of a wider range of surnames. Notable persons of the name include Anders DAHL (18th century). He was a Swedish botanist, the genus DAHLIA, is named after him. Johann Christian Clausen DAHL (1788-1857) was the Norwegian landscape painter. From 1821 he was professor of painting at Dresden.

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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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