The German surname of HOLTZCLAW was a locational name 'the dweller at the holt' from residence near a wood or grove. Local surnames, by far the largest group, derived from a place name where the man held land or from the place from which he had come, or where he actually lived. These local surnames were originally preceded by a preposition such as "de", "atte", "by" or "in". The names may derive from a manor held, from working in a religious dwelling or from literally living by a wood or marsh or by a stream. Following the Crusades in Europe a need was felt for a family name. This was recognized by those of noble blood, who realised the prestige and practical advantage it would add to their status. The name has many variant spellings which include HOLTZ, HOLTZER, HOLZLER, HOLTZMANN, HOLDT, HOLCER and HOLZNER. 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 word Heraldry is derived from the German HEER, (a host, an army) and HELD, (champion): the term BLASON, by which the science is denoted in French, English, Italian and German, has most probably its origin in the German word 'BLAZEN' (to blow the horn). Whenever a new knight appeared at a Tournament, the herald sounded the trumpet, and as competitors attended with closed vizors, it was his duty to explain the bearing of the shield or coat-armour belonging to each. Thus, the knowledge of the various devices and symbols was called 'Heraldry'. The Germans transmitted the word to the French, and it reached England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. A notable member of this name was Arno HOLZ (l863-l929) German author and critic, born in Rastenburg, East Prussia. He first produced lyric poetry, but he is best known for his criticism. 'Die Kunst ihr Wesen und ihre Gesetze (l890-l892) inaugurated the German Impressionist school. 'Revolution der Lyrik' (l899) rejected all metrical devices, and 'Pjhantasus (l898-89) was written on this theory. 'Papa Hamlet'(l899) and the drama 'Familie Selicke' (l890) both written in collaboration with Johannes Aschaf, are influenced by Zola.
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