This universal surname of YEARGON was an occupational name for a huntsman, originally derived from the German word JAGEN (to hunt). The surname was rendered in ancient documents in the Latin form VENATOR. 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 has several variants, amongst which are DE JAGER, JAGERMAN JAEGER, YAEGER, YEGERLEV, JAGGER, JAGGAR, JEGER, JAGERMAN, YAEGER and DE JAGER. A notable member of this name was Charles Sargeant JAGGER (l885-l934) the English sculptor, born in Yorkshire. He studied at the Royal College of Art and at Rome, and executed mainly mythological and historical subjects. His most famous work is the 'Royal Artillery Memorial' at Hyde Park Corner, in London. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. 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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