The associated coat of arms for this name ELMENDORF are recorded in J.B Rietstaps Armorial General. Illustrated by V & H.V Rolland's. This monumental work took 23 years to complete in which 85,000 shields of Arms are included in this works. This name is of three different origins. It was a topographic name for someone who lived or worked at a rough temporary shelter for animals. The name was originally derived from the Old Norman HIALMR, and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The name is also of German origin, from a medieval given name HELMOND, and it was also an occupational name for a maker of helmets. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state.The name is also spelt HELLMANDORF, HELLMAN, ELMORE, ELMONDORF and ELMAN. 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.
The word Heraldry is derived from the German HEER, (a host, an army) and HELD, (champion): the term BLASON, by which the science is denoted in French, English, Italian and German, has most probably its origin in the German word 'BLAZEN' (to blow the horn). Whenever a new knight appeared at a Tournament, the herald sounded the trumpet, and as competitors attended with closed vizors, it was his duty to explain the bearing of the shield or coat-armour belonging to each. Thus, the knowledge of the various devices and symbols was called 'Heraldry'. The Germans transmitted the word to the French, and it reached England after the Norman Conquest of 1066.
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