This Czech surname of JEHLE was originally derived from the German given name of ULRICH, composed of the elements ODAL (prosperity, fortune) and RIC (power). The name was borne by a 10th century saint, the bishop of Augsburg, whose fame contributed greatly to the popularity of the given name in German and Slavic speaking areas during the Middle Ages. The name is also spelt UTZON, UTZ, ULIK, JEDELE, VOLEK, JEHL, UTZMANN and ULL, to name but a few. 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. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. A notable member of the name is Jorn UTZON, born in 1918, the Danish architect. He was educated at the Royal Danish Academy, and his buildings include the Sydney Opera House, Bank Melhi (Teheran) and Paustian's House of Furniture in Copenhagen. He has won many awards including the gold medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1978.
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