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. (Tetzlaff). This German surname TETZLOFF is of Slavonic origin, a short form of the various personal names with the first element TECH meaning comfort and consolation. Other spellings of the name include TETZEL, TESSMER, TESSMANN, TETZMAN, TECH, TECK, TESKE, TETZKE, TECHEL, TECKEL, TESSEN and TECHEN. Surnames derived from Slavonic personal names are of early origin, and tend to be borne by aristocratic families, with the exception of the group of names derived from forms of the immensely popular Polish saint Stanislaw, which has been borne by all classes of society throughout Polish history. Johann TETZEL (circa. 1465-1519) was the German monk, born in Leipzig. He entered the Dominican order in 1489. A famous preacher, he was appointed in 1516 to sell indulgences in return for contributions to the building fund of St. Peter's in Rome. This he did with great ostentation. 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.
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