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Zajac Coat of Arms / Zajac Family Crest

Zajac Coat of Arms / Zajac Family Crest

This surname of ZAJAC was from the nickname ZAYATS (hare) a name denoting a swift runner. The Slavonic term meant originally 'jumper, leaper'. Nicknames usually originated as a by-name for someone by describing their appearance, personal disposition or character but which became handed down through the ages and did not apply to their descendants. The name is also spelt ZAJIC, ZEC, ZAITZ, ZAIZSOV, ZECEVIC and ZAJACEK. Many of this family served the Throne of Russia in noble positions and were granted fiefdoms in 1661 and other years. 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. Russian surnames are almost exclusively patronymic (occasionally metronymic) in form, usually ending in 'ov' or 'ev'. Habitation and topographic names are rare, and many common Russian surnames are polygenetic, and their literal meaning is clear, even though the reason for their adoption may not be. Heraldry appeared later in Russia than in most other Western European countries. It is generally agreed that it was copied from the west sometime in the late 17th century, and quickly achieved state significance. In 1722 Emperor Peter I (The Great) established an official Heraldry Office headed by a Master of Heraldry under the jurisdiction of the Senate, and granted 355 armorial bearings in the 18th century.


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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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