The surname of HERRMANN was a baptismal name 'the son of Herman' from a German personal name composed of the elements HERI (army) and MAN (man). 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. This is undoubtedly of very ancient origin and the Ist century leader of the Cherusci recorded by the Latin historian Tacitus as ARMINIUS has been claimed as the first known bearer. The surname is also borne by Ashkenazic Jews, probably as an adoption of the German surname. A notable member of the name was Johann Gottfreid Jakob HERMANN (1772-1848) the German classical scholar, born in Leipzig. From 1803 he was professor of eloquence and poetry at Leipzig. He wrote on classical metre and Greek grammar, stressing the importance of linguistic over antiquarian evidence in historical research. Woody HERMAN (1913-87) was the American bandleader, alto saxophonist and clarinettist, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Having learned to play the saxophone at the age of nine, he left home at 17 to begin his professional career. The HERMAN Orchestra was one of the very few to survive intact beyond the 1950's. Because of the close relationship between the English and German languages, some Germans are able to transform their names to the English form just by dropping a single letter. Many Germans have re-spelt their names in America. A great number of immigrants from Germany settled in Pennsylvania. After the start of the first World War, Germans in great numbers Anglicized their names in an effort to remove all doubt as to their patriotism. Afterwards some changed back, and then during World War II the problem became acute once more, and the changing started all over again, although not with as much intensity. German or Teutonic heraldry extended its sphere of influence over central Europe and spread into Scandinavia. It is most notable for its design and treatment of crests, most of which reflect the arms in the charge or tinctures (colours) or both, which is unknown in British heraldry. Teutonic Europe assembled many arms on a single shield, each bearing its corresponding crest on a helmet.
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