This Norwegian surname of BAAB was of the baptismal group of surnames meaning 'the son of Barbara'. The name was borne by an enormously popular but almost certainly, non-existent saint, who according to legend was imprisoned in a tower and later put to death by her own father for refusing to recant her Christian beliefs. Occasionally the name was used of a foreigner, in particular for a Moor or one from the Barbary coast, and hence was applied to a man of swarthy appearance. The name has numerous variant spellings which include Barbara, Barbery, Barbarin, Barbaroux and Barberan. The practice of adopting surnames spread to Denmark and Norway from Germany, during the late Middle Ages, but until the 19th century, they were neither fixed nor universal. The Danish state has in recent years been encouraging the adoption of a wider range of surnames. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did.
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