This Dutch and German surname of SCHOENS was a nickname for a handsome or pleasant man, derived from the Old German SCHON (fine, beautiful, bright and refined). The name is also spelt SCHOEN, SCHON, SCHONE, SHOEN, SCHONBEIN (lovely tree) SHONFELD (lovely field) SCHONHOLZ (lovely house) SCHONEMANN (lovely man) and SCHONBLUM (lovely flower). The Dutch language is most closely related to Low German, and its surnames have been influenced both by German and French naming practices. The preposition 'van' is found especially with habitation names, and the 'de' mainly with nicknames. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. Leonard Samuel SHOEN, born on the 29th February, 1916 was the American business executive and member of the Board of Directors of the U-Haul Rental System, which comprised of 43 corporations which were engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of small trucks and trailers. 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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