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Santacruz Coat of Arms / Santacruz Family Crest

This surname SANTACRUZ is an Italian topographic name for someone who lived near a stone cross set up by a roadside or in a market place. The name was originally derived from the Old Norman word KROSS, and rendered in medieval documents in the form CRUCIS. In some cases the name may have originally been given to someone who lived by a crossroads, but this sense of the word seems to have been a comparatively late development. In other cases the surname (spelt in many ways throughout Europe) may have denoted one who carried the cross in processions of the Christian Church. The name is also spelt CROCE, LA CROIX, CRUZ, LA CROCE, CROSE, CROSIO and DELLACROCE, to name but a few. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. 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. A notable member of the name was Benedetto CROCE (1866-1952) the Italian idealist, philosopher, historian, critic and senator, born in Pescasseroli, Aquilla. He was buried in an earthquake on the island of Ischia in l883, but lost both his parents and a sister. He later went on to study in Rome and Naples, and devoted himself at first to literature and antiquarian studies. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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