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Heimsoth Coat of Arms / Heimsoth Family Crest

The English, French, Portugese and German name of HEIMSOTH was originally from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements HEIM (home) and RIC (power) meaning 'home-rule). The name was introduced into England by the Normans in the form HENRI. During the Middle Ages this name became enormously popular in England and was borne by eight kings. Continental forms of the name were equally popular, in Germany as Heinrich, France, Henri etc. In the period in which the majority of surnames were formed in England, a common vernacular form of the name was HARRY; official documents of the period normally used the Latin form HENRICUS. On the whole the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working class or the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. The bulk of surnames in England were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in place names into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. There are numerous spellings of this name which include HENRY, HENREY, HENDRIE, HENRI, HANRY, ENRIETTO, HENRIQUES and HENDRICHS, to name but a few. A notable member of the name was HENRY, known as The Navigator (1394-1460) who was the Portugese prince, third son of John I. King of Portugal, and Philippa, daughter of John of Gaunt. He distinguished himself at the capture of Ceuta, in North Africa in 1415. He was made governor of the Algarve in 1419, and took up residence at Sagres: during the war against the Moors, his sailors reached parts of the ocean before unknown. He erected an observatory and a school for navigation, and dispatched some pupils on voyages of discovery, resulting in the discovery of the Madeira Islands in 1418, the Azores and the Cape Verde Islands. His pupils also explored the west coast of Africa, as far as Sierra Leone, and established many trading posts.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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