SHULL is the name of one of the oldest and wealthiest Dutch families of New York, established there by Philip Pieterse SCHUYLER from Amsterdam. His marriage is recorded in America in 1650. He was a merchant and colonial administrator. Four generations later one of his best known descendants was Philip SCHUYLER (1733-1804) a congressman and senator, and a leading figure in the American Revolution. Originally this surname was an occupational name for a scholar or a student training to be a priest. The name was derived from the Old German word SCHULE (school) and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form SCHOLA. It was also a Jewish occupational name for a Talmudic scholar or the sexton of a synagogue. The name has numerous variant spellings which include SHULLER, SCHULLER, SCHULLERUS, SCHULMAN, SZULMAN, SCHOOLNIK and SKOLNIKOV. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization. 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. 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.
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