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Denzel Coat of Arms / Denzel Family Crest

Denzel Coat of Arms / Denzel Family Crest

The surname of DENZEL was of German origin, an occupational name 'the dancer' - the troubadour, or minstrel who performed at a fair or festival. The name was rendered in medieval documents in the Old German form TANZER. It was also a Jewish surname, apparently of similar origin to the German name. There were, however, no Jewish acrobats, and Jews generally danced only at weddings. The name may have been taken by Chasidim, since members of this branch of Jewry (which arose in the 18th century) do place great emphasis on dancing. The name has numerous variant spellings which include TANZLER, TENZER, DENTZLER, TANTZER, DANCER and DANSETTE. When traditional Jews were forced to take family names by the local bureaucracy, it was an obligation imposed from outside traditional society, and people often took the names playfully and let their imaginations run wild by choosing names which corresponded to nothing real in their world. No one alive today can remember the times when Jews took or were given family names (for most Ashkenazim this was the end of the 18th century or the beginning of the 19th) although many remember names being changed after emigration to other countries, such as the United States and Israel in recent years. The associated arms are recorded in Rietstap's Armorial General. The arms were registered in Baden, West Germany. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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