Scharnhorst Coat of Arms / Scharnhorst 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 SCHARNHORST is a German habitation name from several places, perhaps from near Dortmund in Westophalia, or near Verden and a place to the north of Celle. The name was derived from the elements SKARN (damp) + HORST (wooded hill). Habitation names were originally acquired by the original bearer of the name, who, having lived by, at or near a place, would then take that name as a form of identification for himself and his family. When people lived close to the soil as they did in the Middle Ages, they were acutely conscious of every local variation in landscape and countryside. Every field or plot of land was identified in normal conversation by a descriptive term. If a man lived on or near a hill or mountain, or by a river or stream, forests and trees, he might receive the word as a family name. Almost every town, city or village in early times, has served to name many families. A notable member of the name was Gerhard Johann David von SCHARNHORST (1755-1813), the German soldier, the son of a Hanoverian farmer. He fought in Flanders against the French (1793-95) and directed the training school for Prussian officers (1801). He was wounded at Auerstadt and taken prisoner at Lubeck. Surnames which were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have the same meaning in many languages. The court of Charlemagne (Charles the Great, king of the Franks (742-814) was Christian and Latin speaking). The vernacular was the Frankish dialect of Old High German, and the personal names in use were Germanic and vernacular. These names were adopted in many parts of northwest Europe, particularly among the noble ruling classes. Hereditary surnames were found in Germany in the second half of the 12th century - a little later than in England and France. It was about the 16th century that they became stabilized.
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