The surname of VICTOR is of French origin, the descendant of Victor a name meaning the victorious, the conqueror. The name was brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Early Christians often bore this name in reference to Christ's victory over sin and death, and there are a large number of saints so called. Some of the principal ones, who contributed to the popularity of the given name in the Middle Ages are a 2nd century pope, a 3rd century Mauritanian martyr, and a 5th century bishop of Colongne. After the Crusades in Europe, in the 11th 12th and 13th century people began, perhaps unconsciously, to feel the need of a family name, or at least a name in addition to the simple one that had been possessed from birth. The nobles and upper classes, especially those who went on the Crusades, observed the prestige and practical value of an added name, and were quick to take a surname. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. Victor Emmanuel is the name of three kings of Sardinia, two of whom became kings of Italy.
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