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 GRAN was a Swedish ornamental name, derived from GRAN (meaning the dweller at the place where spruce grew). The name was adopted in the 19th century, and belongs to the large class of ornamental surnames taken from natural features of the landscape. 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 name is also spelt GRANN, GRAHN, GRANBERG, GRANHOLM, GRANLUND, GRANQUIST and GRANSTROM. In the 17th century, so-called 'soldiers' names are found as the earliest kind of hereditary surnames in Sweden. These names were derived from vocabulary words, usually martial-sounding monosyllables such as Rapp (prompt) Rask (bold), or occasionally names of animals and birds. The names were bestowed on soldiers for administrative purposes, and no doubt in some cases derived from pre-existing nicknames. A notable member of the name was Lucile GRAHN (1819-1907) Danish ballerina, born in Copenhagen. Making her official debut at only seven, she subsequently studied and worked in the Royal Danish Ballet. Retiring from dancing in 1856, she was ballet mistress at the Leipzig State Theatre, and then with the Munich Court Opera (1869-75). A street in Munich is named after her. Most Swedes did not adopt hereditary surnames until a century or more later, and the patronymic system was still in use in rural areas until late in the 19th century. In the absence of evidence to the contrary it is thought that people may have adopted their surname from the area in which they lived.
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