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Vandoren Coat of Arms / Vandoren Family Crest

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. 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. In small provincial communities in Europe where most men never ventured more than a few miles from the place where they were born, a stranger attracted attention and was considered foreign for many years. Outsiders were distrusted, a wanderer arriving in a village named VAN DOREN, would be named the swarthy stranger. A notable member of the name was Mark Albert VAN DOREN (1894-1972) the American poet and critic, brother of Carl Clinton VAN DOREN, born in Hope, Illinois. He studied at the state university and at Columbia, where he taught from 1920 and became professor of English in 1942. He was awarded the Pulitzer prize in 1940 for his 'Collected Poems' (1939). Further collections of poetry were published in 1963, 1964 and 1967. Compared to other countries, Dutch heraldry is notably simpler, some of the shields being only a single charge. Generally speaking one helmet, one shield and one crest has been used, quartering is uncommon and mottoes are rare. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.

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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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