The Hungarian language is quite distinct from its Germanic and Slavonic neighbours, and is of Finno-Ugric rather than European origin, and so it is related to Finnish. However, the strongest cultural influence in historical times has been German, and the pattern of Hungarian surnames is similar to that found in Germany and Austria. In the 19th century, surnames ending in 'Y' came to be considered more aristocratic than those ending in 'I', although it has been shown that the alternation between these two letters depended on the whim of a clerk, and had no connection with rank. This surname of VARGA was an Hungarian occupational name for a cobbler or shoemaker. The cobbler in medieval Europe not only repaired shoes, but also made them. The importance of this trade is reflected in the fact that it is found as an hereditary family name in most European countries. Frequently very early records of surnames were given in Latin, and one of the earliest records of the trade or cobbler used as a surname is a record of one Richardus CALCIFAX (from the Latin CALCIFAX, meaning shoemaker) who was recorded as early as 1253. References to the name VARGO or to a variant include a record of one Michael VARGA who was ennobled by King Leopold I in Vienna in 1702, and to whom the arms described below were granted. Johann and Laurenz VAGA were both ennobled by King Karl III in 1713. 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 as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European counties. The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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