This surname of MARGIOTTA is the Danish and Norwegian form of Margarete or Margaret. The name was originally from a Latin female personal name MARGARITA, and was borne by several early Christian saints, and became a popular female given name throughout Europe. Other spellings of the name include MARARETA, MADGETT, MARGUERITE, MEGGIT, MEGGAT, MAGGI and GRIETE. The practice of adopting surnames spread to Denmark and Norway from Germany, during the late Middle Ages, but until the 19th century, they were neither fixed nor universal. The Danish state has in recent years been encouraging the adoption of a wider range of surnames. MARGARETA (1352-1412) Queen of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, one of the greatest of the Scandinavian monarchs, and daughter of King Valdemar III of Denmark. She was married to King Haakon VI of Norway in 1363 at the age of ten. On the death of her father without male heirs in 1375 the Danish nobles offered her the crown of Denmark in trust for her five year old son Olav, for whom she acted as regent. By Haakon's death in 1380, MARGARETA became regent of Norway for Olav too. Olav died suddenly at the age of 17, leaving her sole ruler of Denmark and Norway. MARGARETA retained all power until her death. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, England in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84.
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