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Rathel Coat of Arms / Rathel Family Crest

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 RATHEL is of various origins. It was a French nickname for a sly and agile individual, derived from the Old French word RAT. It was also a German and Ashkenazic Jewish nickname for a wise person and in some cases the name may also have applied to someone with mouse-coloured hair. Nicknames usually originated as a by-name for someone by describing their appearance, personal disposition or character but which became handed down through the ages and did not apply to their descendants. The name has numerous variant spellings which include RATHKE, LERAT, RATH, RATHE, RATTI, RATTO, RADON, RATET, RATY and RATHGEN, to name but a few. For the majority of the English speaking peoples, the main sources of names have been the traditions of the various Germanic tribes of Northern Europe, and the names introduced by the Church, perhaps Hebrew names of the Old Testament, or Greek and Roman names of the New Testament and saints. Many names were brought over to England by the invading Anglo-Saxons, a mixed collection of people from various Germanic tribes, speaking various dialects which were called Old English. A notable member of the name was Martin Heinrich RATHKE (1793-1860) the German electrotechnician and industrialist, born in Berlin of Jewish parents. He organized the Allegmeine Elektrizitats Gesellschaft, founded by his father, and German war industries during World War I. In 1921 as minister of reconstructions he dealt with reparations. His works include 'Von kommenden Dingen'. 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.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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