The associated coat of arms for this name are recorded in J.B Rietstaps Armorial General. Illustrated by V & H.V Rolland's. This Monumental work took 23 years to complete and 85,000 coats of Arms are included in this work. This surname of MASSIMO was from the personal name MAGNUS meaning 'GREAT'. This name was born by Magnus the Good (died 1047), king of Norway, who was named after the Emperor Charlemagne, and was derived from the Latin Carolus Magnus 'Charles the Great'. The name spread from Norway to the East Scandinavian royal houses, and became popular all over Scandinavia and thence in the English Danelaw. Magnus Erlendsson (St.Magnus) who died in 1117. He was the Earl of Orkney. The name is also spelt MAGNES, MANUS, MAIGNE, MAGNI, MANNO, MANNU, MAXIM, MAISME, MESME, MESMON, and MANNONI. Early in the 12th century, the Norse earldom of Orkney was shared by Magnus and his cousin, Earl Hakon; after years of feuding they agreed to hold a peace-meeting on the island of Egilsay just after Easter in 1117. Hakon treacherously broke the terms of the truce and took Magnus prisoner, and had him executed. The manner of Magnus's death suggested martyrdom, and soon miracles were reported. Earl Rognvald Kali, built St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall in his honour. 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. The first automatic machine gun took its name from its inventor, Hiram P. MAXIM (1840-1916). He was born in Maine, but emigrated to England in 1881 and was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1901. He could trace his ancestry back four generations to Samuel MAXIM of Rochester, New York; family tradition claimed descent from Huguenots who had once lived in Canterbury, England.
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