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Gatz Coat of Arms / Gatz Family Crest

Many short Americanized German names are derived from the 'kurzform' the short form or nickname from the font name. In this case GATZ or GATSCH are from GATO, a pet form of GADAFRID meaning 'comrade-peace'. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. The name has many variant spellings which include CATT, GATTO, GATO, GATSCH, GATTINILLI, GATTULLO, DE CAT, CATTE, and GATTI. A notable member of the name was Carrie CATT (1859-1947) the American reformer and pacifist, born in Wisconsin. She was educated at Iowa State College and joined the staff of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1890, later becoming its president. She helped establish the League of Women Voters in 1919, and spent the later years of her life campaigning for world peace. American surnames comprise of surnames found in every country throughout the world, many with differences in spelling not seen in the old country due to the inability of clerks and Government officials to record correctly the names given them by unschooled immigrants not familiar with the English, French, German, Portugese, Dutch or Spanish languages currently used in the Port of entry or the part of the country where they settled. When an immigrant arriving in America with little knowledge of English gave his name verbally to the officials, it was written down by them as they heard it, and being thereby 'official' it was often accepted by the immigrant himself as the correct American rendering of his name.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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