The surname of WIED is of German origin, a locational name, one who came from Weiden (the meadow) the name of many places in Germany. It was also a name given to one who hunted game, a huntsman. When meat in the Middle Ages could not be kept well throughout the winter months, an important source of meat came through the game killed by the hunter, whose work was both a necessity and a pastime for the ruling classes. The British particularly were famed for their hunting dogs, and one gentleman Gaston de Foix, in France, was said to have had sixteen hundred hounds in his kennels, and six hundred horses in the stables. Favourite quarries of the nobility were the stag and the wild boar. From Germany there are many family names which denominate the huntsman. The name was originally derived from the Old German name WIDA and is also spelt WEIDEN, WAIDE, WEIDLER, WIEDMANN, WEIDEL and WEIDEMAN. Local names find their origins in the villages, towns and areas where people were born, or from the land they owned. In the Middle Ages, a man was identified by his place of birth and almost every city, town and village existing in medieval times has originated one or more family names. Anyone leaving his birthplace would be known to new friends and neighbours by the name of his former residence, his birthplace, or the land he owned. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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