This German and English surname of MANTHE is of three-fold origin. It was a locational name for one who came from MANTEL (formerly MANTHEY) a swamp area in Germany. It was also a baptismal name meaning 'the son of MANTHEO' and finally the name was applied to someone who made mantels or cloaks. The tailor was an important part of medieval life, and in the parts of Europe where the winter weather was severe everyone needed the 'great cloak' required by nobles or other warm clothing which was made by the tailor whose talent commanded respect. In these times clothes made the man, showing everyone the class in which he belonged and the deference due to him. Laws restricted the lower classes from wearing the clothes of their 'betters'. In almost all European countries the family name derived from the occupation as a tailor became a popular one. The name is also spelt MANTELL, MANTEL, MANTH, MANTHEY, MANTHEO and MANTHER. George Algernon MANTELL (1790-1852) was the English doctor, born in Lewes, Sussex. He wrote 'The Fossils of the South Downs' (1822) and 'The Wonders of Geology' (1838). 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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