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Gress Coat of Arms / Gress Family Crest

Gress Coat of Arms / Gress Family Crest

This Swedish and German surname of GRESS was a locational name for a dweller on a pebbly or sandstone piece of land, one who came from GRESSE in Germany. American surnames now embody almost all the surname of the world. Immigrants from European countries consciously altered their names to relate them to the English language, especially to English pronunciation, so that many names have a form and spelling which is different from that found elsewhere. Swedes and Norwegians in American reverted to the names they received in military service, the soldier names. In earlier times the commanding officer assigned bynames to each recruit which served to identify them while in the army. These were usually short warlike names, and GRESS (pig) was one of these such names. The name is also spelt GROSS and GRIS. 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. 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. The Swedes have in recent times combined two words together to manufacture family names to take the place of their common patronymics, terminating in - SON. These words are not just any words, but are usually nature words combined for easy pronunciation. This custom has been actively encouraged by the Swedish government and there are some 56,000 combinations of the variants. 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. There was an Ella GRESS of York County, Pennysylvania, recorded in circa. 1900.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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