This surname of EITEL was a German nickname, from the Old German word ITEL, meaning 'purely and simply'. In the days before surnames came properly into being, bearers of common given names would often have a second given name as a distinguishing feature; someone who did not have such a second name could be distinguished by this fact, as for example ITEL HANS, and so on. The name is also spelt EYTEL and EYDEL. Surnames which were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have the same meaning in many languages. The court of Charlemagne (Charles the Great, king of the Franks (742-814) was Christian and Latin speaking). The vernacular was the Frankish dialect of Old High German, and the personal names in use were Germanic and vernacular. These names were adopted in many parts of northwest Europe, particularly among the noble ruling classes. Hereditary surnames were found in Germany in the second half of the 12th century - a little later than in England and France. It was about the 16th century that they became stabilized. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. A notable member of the name was the American surgeon, George EITEL, who was born in Chanhassen, Minnisota in 1858. He studied in Germany and founded his own hospital in 1912. He died in 1928. German or Teutonic heraldry extended its sphere of influence over central Europe and spread into Scandinavia. It is most notable for its design and treatment of crests, most of which reflect the arms in the charge or tinctures (colours) or both, which is unknown in British heraldry. Teutonic Europe assembled many arms on a single shield, each bearing its corresponding crest on a helmet.
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