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. This surname of ERTMAN was originally found in Germany's largest state Bavaria which owes its origins to the ancient tribe of the 'Bajuvaren'. They settled here after coming from Bohemia when the Romans ceased their occupation in 500 AD. This name has travelled widely in many forms which includes: ERTMANN, ETMANN, ARTMANN, ARTMANNE, ARTEMAN, ARTEMANNE, to name a few examples.
Members of this family sought their fortunes in the new world of North America, leaving the place of their birth to escape poverty or religious persecution. The process of this colonization of North America began in l650. The majority found themselves in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Among the early settlers was G.ARTMAN who settled in Philadelphia in l879. A notable member of this name was Hans Carl ARTMANN who was born in l92l, the experimental writer from Austria.
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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