The associated coat of arms for this name are recorded in J.B Rietstaps Armorial General. Illustrated by V & H.V Rolland's. This Monumental work took 23 years to complete and 85,000 coats of Arms are included in this work. This surname of GATTIS is a French, German, Polish and Dutch surname, a nickname from the animal the cat, and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form CATTUS. The word is found in similar forms in most European languages from very early times. Domestic cats were unknown in Europe in classical times, because weasels fulfilled their functions, for example in hunting rodents. They were first introduced into southern Europe in the 1st century AD, and they were known to the Romans by the Greek name AILOUROS, meaning 'wavy-tail'. They seem to have come from Egypt, where they were regarded as sacred animals. The name has numerous spellings which include KOTZE, CHATT, KATTE, LECHAT, GATTO, KATER, KATTE, DE KAT, KOTT, KOTAS and KOTEV, to name but a few. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. As early as the year 1100, it was quite common for English people to give French names to their children, and the earliest instances are found among the upper classes, both the clergy and the patrician families. The Norman-French names used were generally the names most commonly used by the Normans, who had introduced them into England during the Norman Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066.
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