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 GOLDSTEIN was an English and German metonymic occupational name for someone who worked in gold, a refiner, jeweller or gilder. Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. It was also a nickname for someone with bright yellow hair, with reference to the colour of metal. The Old personal name persisted into the Middle Ages as a given name. The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages. The name has numerous variant spellings which include GOOLD, GOLD, GILDER, GOLDERBURG, GOLDENFELD, GOLDLAND, GOLDSTERN and GYLLENHAMMAR, to name but a few. A notable member of the name was Eugen GOLDSTEIN (1850-1930) the German physicist, born in Gleiwitz, Silesia. He worked at the Berlin Observatory, discovered in 1876 the shadows cast at right angles to cathode rays and in 1886, the 'canal rays' - which were later shown to be positively charged particles of atomic mass. Another notable was Joseph Leonard GOLDSTEIN, born in 1940, the American molecular geneticist and winner of the 1985 Nobel prize for physiology or medicine. 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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