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Van Langingham Coat of Arms / Van Langingham Family Crest

This Dutch surname of VAN LANGINGHAM is of two-fold origin. It was a nickname for a tall person, rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form LONGUS. The name has travelled widely in many forms throughout Europe and into the United States, and variants of the name include LONGHI, LANG, LANGMAN, LANGER, DE LANGHE and VAN LANGIN. The name was also a locational name meaning 'one who lived at the long hill or meadow. Dutchmen who have surnames from towns, cities or districts, are mostly distinguished by the prefix VAN. In the United States the use of capital and initial letters and spaces is optional with the particular family. 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. Notables of the name include Carl LANGE (1834-1900) the Danish physician and psychologist who propounded the theory that the emotions we feel are the result of bodily reactions rather than their cause. Fritz LANG, born in 1890, was the Austrian film director, whose early career in Germany included two masterpieces, M (1932), starring Peter Lorre as a psychopathic killer, and METROPOLIS (1926) a fantasy of the future. 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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