This German surname of KAUFMAN was an occupational name for a merchant or trader. The name is also spelt KAUFMAN, KAUFMANN, KAUFFMAN and CAUFFMAN. Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identify individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. A notable member of the name was Constantine Petrovich von KAUFMANN (1818-82) the Russian soldier. He distinguished himself at Kars in 1855, and from 1867 until 1882 was governor of Turkestan. In 1868 he occupied Samarkand, and in 1873 conducted the campaign against Khiva. George Simon KAUFMAN (1889-1961) was the American playwright, born in Pittsburgh. In collaboration with Moss Hart he wrote 'You Can't Take it with You' (Pulitzer Prize, 1939) and 'The Man Who Came to Dinner' (1939). He also wrote many musicals which have been filmed. 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.
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