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Garin Coat of Arms / Garin Family Crest

Garin Coat of Arms / Garin Family Crest

This surname of GARIN was a Russian patronymic from the given name GERASIM (originally from the Greek GERASIMOS, meaning honour). The name was borne by a 5th century saint who was venerated in the Eastern Church, who was chiefly famous for the devotion he is said to have inspired in a lion from whose paw he extracted a thorn. The name has numerous variant spellings which include GERASIMOV, GARASIMOV, ARASIMOVICH, GEREEV, GERAKOV and GERASIMENYA, to name but a few. Russian surnames are almost exclusively patronymic (occasionally metronymic) in form, usually ending in 'ov' or 'ev'. Habitation and topographic names are rare, and many common Russian surnames are polygenetic, and their literal meaning is clear, even though the reason for their adoption may not be. Heraldry appeared later in Russia than in most other Western European countries. It is generally agreed that it was copied from the west sometime in the late 17th century, and quickly achieved state significance. In 1722 Emperor Peter I (The Great) established an official Heraldry Office headed by a Master of Heraldry under the jurisdiction of the Senate. Many of this family served the Russian Throne in noble positions and were granted fiefdoms in 1636 and other years. 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. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization.


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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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