This surname of ENGELBERT was an English, French and Low German personal name, originally derived from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements ENGEL and BERHT (bright and famous). ENGEL was the name of a Germanic tribe who invaded England and North Britain in the 5-6th centuries, and gave their name to England. The widespread popularity of the name in France during the Middle Ages was largely a result of the fact that it had been borne by a son-in-law of Charlemagne; in the Rhineland it was more often given in memory of an early medieval martyr of this name who had been bishop of Cologne (1216-25). The name has numerous variant spellings which include ENGLEBERT, ENJALBERT, ENJEUBERT, ANGELBERT, LANGLEBERT, INGELBRECHT, ENGELBRECHER and ENGELBERTZ. 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. ENGELBREKT (circa. 1390-1436) was the Swedish rebel and military commander, born in Bergslagen of an iron mining family of German ancestry. When the wars of Erik VIII of Pomerania disrupted the Swedish export of iron, he led a rebellion against the king. He forced the Council of the Realm to retract its oath of loyalty to Erik, and, at a meeting in Arboga in 1435 he was appointed commander-in-chief of the Realm, Within months the Council reversed its decision, but a year later Erik was again excluded and ENGELBREKT re-appointed commander. He was murdered in a personal quarrel shortly afterwards. He is regarded as a hero of national liberation. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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