The surname of THIELEN was a baptismal name 'the son of Theodoric', a nickname TERI, from the French Thierry. The name was composed of the Germanic elements PEUDO (people-race) and RIC (power). Theodoric was the name of the Ostrogothic leader (circa.454-526) who invaded Italy in 488 and established his capital at Ravenna in 493. His name was often taken as a derivative of the Greek THEODORIS. The name was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form TERRA. There are many variant spellings of the name which include DUTIL, THIED, TIEDE, TIEL, THEEK, TELEMAN, THALMAN, THEILMANN, THEIRRY and TILKE. During the 17th century surnames were brought to Britain, North America and southern Africa by French Huguenot exiles. The Huguenots were French Protestants, and in 1572 large numbers of them were massacred in Paris on the orders of Queen Catherine de'Medici. Many of the survivors sought refuge in England and elsewhere. Although the Edict of Nantes (1598) officially guaranteed religious toleration, persecution continued, and the Edict was revoked by Louis XIV in 1685. It was then the trickle of emigration became a flood. Many migrated to England, while others joined groups of Dutch Protestants settling around the Cape of Good Hope. Others sailed across the Atlantic to establish themselves in North America. A notable member of the name was Augustin THIERRY (1795-1856) the French historian, born in Blois. He joined the Paris Liberals in 1814 and published 'De la reoganisation de la societe europeene'. In 1825 he published his masterpiece 'The Norman Conquest of England'. In 1835 he became librarian at the Palais Royal. His last work was on the 'Tiers Etat' (1853). 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.
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