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Goch Coat of Arms / Goch Family Crest

Goch Coat of Arms / Goch Family Crest

This surname of GOCH is a Low German and Dutch habitation name from any of the various minor places which get their names from an ancient Germanic element GOCH, meaning marsh, bog, fen. The name is also spelt GOGH, GOG and Van GOGH. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. The Dutch language is most closely related to Low German, and its surnames have been influenced both by German and French naming practices. The preposition 'van' is found especially with habitation names, and the 'de' mainly with nicknames. A notable member of the name was Vincent (Willem) VAN GOGH (1853-90) the Dutch Post Impressionist painter, born in Groot-Zundert, the son of a Lutheran pastor. At 16 he became an assistant (1869-76) with an international firm of art dealers in their shops in The Hague, London and Paris. An unrequited love affair with an English school-mistress accentuated his inferiority complex and religious passion. In 1878 he became an evangelist for a religious society in Belgium. In 1881 he set off for Brussels to study art. He painted 'Sunflowers' (1888) 'The Bridge' (1888) and 'The Chair and the Pipe' (1888) and invited Gauguin to found a community of artists. Gauguin's stay ended in a tragic quarrel, in which Van GOGH in remorse, cut off part of his own ear and was placed in an asylum at St. Remy. 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.

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Last Updated: April 12th, 2023

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