This surname of GLAD is an Ashkenazic Jewish name, originally derived from the German word GLANZ meaning 'to shine, to radiate happiness'. 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 now often been Angliziced to GLADD. Other spellings of the name include GLADWIN, GLADDEN, GLADH, GLADDING, GLANTZ, GLANZTERM GLANTZMANN, GLANZMAN and GLANZBERGE. Early records of the name in England include GLADUIN (without surname) who was recorded in the year 1066 in London. Walter GLADEWYNNE appears in 1273 in County Cambridge. Robert GLEDEWYNE was documented in County Kent in 1317, and Radulphus filius GLADEWINI of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll tax of 1379. When the first immigrants from Europe went to America, the only names current in the new land were Indian names which did not appeal to Europeans vocally, and the Indian names did not influence the surnames or Christian names already possessed by the immigrants. Mostly the immigrant could not read or write and had little or no knowledge as to the proper spelling, and their names suffered at the hands of the government officials. The early town records are full of these mis-spelt names most of which gradually changed back to a more conventional spelling as education progressed. 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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