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ANCHETA Family Crest / ANCHETA Coat of Arms

ANCHETA Family Crest / ANCHETA Coat of Arms

This French, Spanish and Portugese surname of ANCHETA was a male given name, ultimately from the Latin word ANGELUS, meaning angel. The name is also spelt ANCIETA and ANCETIA. It was not until the Middle Ages that surnames were first introduced to distinguish between people bearing the same personal or christian names. With the growth in documentation and medieval officials eager to add to the exchequers by improving the tax collection system, surnames became essential. French, or rather Norman French, was the language of the aristocracy and the upper classes in England at the time fixed surnames were being developed, it is therefore not surprising that many of our well-known family names are derived from French words. Originally only Christian or personal names were used, and although a few came into being during the 10th century, surnames were not widely used until much later, when people began to realize the prestige of having a second name. In the 8th century, Spain fell under the control of the Moors, and this influence, which lasted into the 12th century, has also left its mark on Hispanic surnames. A few names are based directly on Arabic personal names. The majority of Spanish occupational and nickname surnames, however, are based on ordinary Spanish derivatives. Portugese surnames share many of the features of Spanish surnames, in particular Arabic and Visigothic influence. A notable feature of Portugese surnames is the class of religious names referring to festivals of the church or attributes of the Virgin Mary. One respect in which Portugese names differ from those of the rest of the Iberian peninsular, is that some were adopted at a comparatively late date and honour saints who did not give rise to surnames in other languages. Portugese names typically have the ending 'eiro'. A notable member of the name was Jose de ANCHIETA (1534-97) the Portugese poet and scholar. He became a Jesuit in 1551 and in 1553 joined a mission in Brazil. He helped protect the Indians from slavery and was one of the founders of the city of San Paulo. As well as his chiefly religious poetry and historical works, he wrote a grammar of Indian language, Tupi, and descriptions of the Indian culture.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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