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Marciniak Coat of Arms / Marciniak Family Crest

This German, Czech, Flemish/Dutch and Danish/Norwegian surname was from a personal name MARS (rendered in ancient documents in the Latin form MARTINUS) the Roman god of fertility and war. This name was borne by a famous 4th century saint, Martin of Tours, and consequently became extremely popular throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. The name has many variant spellings which include MARTELL, MARTEAU, MARTELIER, MARTELLI, MARTIELLO AND MARTELET. Since there have been many countries where this saint has been revered the name has given the United States many variants of the name. In 1964, The United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Social Security Administration made a report of the 'Distribution of Surnames of the Social Security Account Number File'. It was found that there were 1,091,522 different surnames in the file. In the form MARTIN the name is ranked 13th and there are 603,400 peoples of the name in America. It was also a metonymic occupational name for a smith or a nickname for a forceful person, rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form MARTULUS. The smith was one of the most important men in medieval Europe. He served both the lord and the peasants. It was his duty to shoe the lord's horses, mend and sharpen his plows and make all the metal objects that were required. For these duties he would receive certain honours such as charcoal and wood from the lord's forest and the right to have his land ploughed by the lord's plows. He also did work for the serfs in the manor, from whom he would receive payment. Henry II of England in 1181, ordered every holder of land worth W10 a year, to provide himself with a coat of mail, a helmet, a shield and a lance, and many smiths were required to make these articles. The smith, as a worker in metals was important in every country. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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