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Dodt Families Around the World

Posted by on May 4, 2011

Please Note

The information supplied here is extracted from a book which was being sold to our family, which was written by some other organisation (namely, Family Heritage International) with no connection to ourselves, or anybody in the Dodt family. As far as value for money is concerned and depth of information, I recommend that you do not buy this book.


"What’s in a name? That which we call a rose;
by any other name would smell so sweet."

William Shakespeare

Have you ever had the experience where your name was misspelled? Perhaps on an account or in a letter. What are the typical misspellings or pronunciation errors associated with the Dodt name? It strikes one very personally because the Dodt name is your possession and identification, and it tells the world who you are. Historically, names have served as a fingerprint of life, perhaps a basic clue to one’s personality. Knowledge of naming practices in our ancestral country of origin can help us trace our respective families back to a village or a place, tell us their occupation, or it can give us an idea about what our ancestors looked like. The intriguing story of surnames dates back thousands of years. How and where they began, what they originalITy meant, and their various spellings, is called the study of onomastics.

The first known people to acquire surnames were the Chinese. Legends suggest that the Emperor Fushi decreed the use of surnames, or family names, about 2852 B.C. The Chinese customarily have three names. The surname is placed first and comes from one of the 438 words in the sacred Chinese poem Po-Chia-Hsing. The family name is followed by a generation name, taken from a poem of 30 characters adopted by each family. The Given name is then placed last.

In early times, the Romans had only one name. However, they later changed to using three names. The given name stood first and was called a "praenomen". This was followed by the "nomen" which designates the gens, or clan. The last name designates the family and is known as the "cognomen". Some Romans added a fourth name, the "agonomen", to commemorate an illustrious action, or remarkable event. As the Roman Empire began to decline, family names became confused and single names once again became customary.

During the early Middle Ages, people were referred to by a single given name. But gradually the custom of adding another name as a way to distinguish individuals gained popularity. Certain distinct traits became commonly used as a part of this practice. For instance, the place of birth, St. Francis of Assisi; a descriptive characteristic, Lambert Le Tort- an Old French poet whose name means "Lambert the Twisted"; the person’s occupation, Piers Plowman; or the use of the father’s name, Leif Erikson.

By the 12th Century, the use of a second name had become so widespread that, in some places, it was considered vulgar not to have one. However, even though this custom was the source of all surnames used today, the second names used in the early Middle Ages did not apply to families, nor were they hereditary.

Whether these second names evolved into fixed, hereditary surnames is difficult to pinpoint with any accuracy since the practice advanced slowly over a period of several hundreds of years. Many fixed surnames existed alongside the more temporary bynames and descriptive terms used by the people as second names.

The modern hereditary use of surnames was a practice that originated among the Venetian aristocracy in Italy about the loth or 11th Centuries. Crusaders returning from the Holy Land took note of this custom and soon spread its use throughout Europe. France, the British Isles, and then Germany and Spain began appl.ving the practice as the need to distinguish individuals became more important. By the 1370’s the word "surname" is found in documents, and has come to acquire some emotive and dynastic significance. Men sometimes sought to keep their surname alive by encouraging a collateral to adopt it when they had no direct descendants of their own in the male line. Although we can see that the handing on of a surname has become a matter of pride, we can only guess as to the reasons for adopting hereditary surnames in the first place.

Government became more and more a matter of written record. As the activities of government, particularly in the levying of taxation and and the exaction of military service, touched an ever-widening range of the population, perhaps it became necessary to identify individuals accurately. In some of the larger urban communities especially, personal names were no longer sufficient to distinguish people for social as well as administrative purposes. In the countryside, manorial administration, with its stress on hereditary succession to land, needed some means of keeping track of families and not just of individuals. We can be certain that by about 1450 at the latest, most people of whatever social rank had a fixed, hereditary surname. This surname identified the family, provided a link with the family’s past, and would preserve its identity in the future. It is not surprising that the preservation of surnames became a matter of family pride. It was a cause for much regret if a man had no male descendants to whom he could pass on the surname he himself had inherited and had borne with pride.

Beginning in the 15th and 16th Centuries, family names gained in popularity in Poland and Russia. The Scandinavian countries, bound by their custom of using the father’s name as a second name, didn’t begin using family surnames until the 19th Century. Turkey waited until 1933, when the government forced the practice on its people.

In nearIy every. case, surnames were first used by the nobility and wealthy landowners, and the practice then trickled down to the merchants and commoners. The first permanent names were those of barons and landowners who derived their names from their manors and fiefs. These names became fixed through the hereditary nature of their lands. For the members of the working and middle classes seeking status, the practices of the nobility were imitated, leading to the widespread use of surnames.

It would be a difficult task to work out a simple classification of family names due to spelling and pronunciation changes over the years. Many old words had different meanings, or are now obsolete. Many famiy names were dependent on the competency and discretion of the writer. The same name Call sometimes be spelled in different ways even in the same document.

Family names have come down to us in various ways. They may have grown out of a person’s surroundings or job, or the name of an ancestor. Most surnames evolved from four general sources:

    Occupation: The local house builder, food preparer, grain grinder and suit maker, would be nanled respectively: John Carpenter, John Cook, John Miller and John Taylor. The person who made barrels was called Cooper. The blacksmith was called Smith. Every village had its share of Smiths, Carpenters and Millers and the Millers in one town weren’t necessarily related to the Millers in the next.Location: The John who lived over the hill became known as John Overhill; the one who dwelled near a stream might be dubbed John Brook. Many 1ocational surnames originated as placenames. You can teII that a surname is a Iocational placename if it ends with one of the regular placename elements, such as -hill, -ford, -wood, -brook, -well, and so on. Less easily recognized locational surnames end with -ton, -ham, -wick, -stead meaning a farm, or small settlement. Other common locational endings are -don, (a hill), -bury (a fortification) or -leigh, or -ley (a clearing).

    Patronymic (fathers name): Many of these surnames can be recognized by the termination — son, such as Williamson, Jackson, etc. Some endings used by other countries to indicate "son" are: Armenians – jan, Danes and Norwegians – sen, Finns – nen, Greeks poulos, Spaniards – ez, and Poles – wiecz. Prefixes denoting are the Welsh – Ap, the Scots and Irish – Mac, and the Normans Fitz. So, John the son of Randolph became john ritz-Randolph because "ritz" means "son of." In Wales, David the son of John tacked"ap"in front of his father’s name, and David ap John was soon being called David Upjohn. In Scotland Gilleain’s descendants were known as MacGiIIeain and later shortened to MacLeab, McClean, McLane, and all the other versions.

    Characteristic: An unusually small person might be labeled Small, Short, Little, or Lytle. A large man might be named Longfellow, Large, Lang, or Long. Many persons having characteristics of a certain animal would be given the animal’s name. Examples: a sly person might be named Fox; a good swimmer, Fish; a quiet man, Dove; etc.

Many historians believe that surnames derived from places (Iocational) were the first to become hereditary. Surnames evolving from nicknames or descriptive traits (characteristic) are also of early origin. Surnames taken from occupations came later, and those of patronymic origin were the last to become hereditary. Even though patronymic names have been in use a long time, they would change with every generation: William’s son John would be known as John Willamson, while his son William would be William Johnson.

Surnames that are the most fun, the most surprising and sometimes even embarrassing, are the characteristic names. One word of caution, though. Do not be distressed if the Dodt name originally meant something you consider uncomplimentary. Remember that the definition may have applied to a Dodt who lived centuries ago. There are obvious characteristic surnames, including Longfellow, Redd (one with red hair), and White (white complexion or hair), and its Italian and German counterparts, Bianco and Weiss, respectively. You cannot always take at face value what names seem to mean, because of changes in word meanings over the centuries. Hence the English name Stout, which brings to mind a rather fat fellow, is actually indicative of an early ancestor who was easily irritated, a noisy fellow.. There are some names that leave us with an immediate picture of a person with a most distinctive physical characteristic: Stradling, an English name meaning one with bowed legs; the French, Beaudry – one with good bearing, beautiful; and the Irish, Balfe – one who stammered and stuttered. Our ancestors pulled no punches. You will have to admit that occasionally they spared no feelings.

How The Old And Distinguished Dodt
Family Got Its Name And What The Dodt Name Means

The surname Dodt appears to be characteristic in origin. Our research indicates that it can be associated with the Germans, meaning, "one who was a terrifying warrior". Although this interpretation is the result of onomastic research, you may find other meanings for the Dodt family name. Many surnames have more than one origin. For instance, the English surname "Bell" may designate one who lived or worked at the sign of the bell, or it may refer to a bellringer, or bellmaker. It may be a nickname for "the handsome one," from the Old French word "bel" which means beautiful. It could also indicate the descendant of "Bel," or pet form of Isabel.

When you begin to do more extensive research on the Dodt name you may have difficulty finding it with the exact spelling which you use today. It, in fact, may very well have been spelled differently hundreds of years ago, or you may even know of someone in your family’s past who actually changed his name. The more research you do, the more likely you’ll find several different spellings. Language changes, carelessness and a high degree of illiteracy (sometimes the man himself did not know how to spell his own name) compounded the number of ways a name might have been spelled. Often the town clerk spelled the name the way it sounded to him.

Spelling Variations Of The Family Name

Knowing that different spellings of the same original surname are a common occurrence, it is not surprising that dictionaries of surnames indicate probable spelling variations of the Dodt surname to be Todt, Tod, Dodd, Doth, Dood and Dot. Although bearers of the old and distinguished Dodt name comprise a small percentage of individuals living in the World today, there may be a large number of your direct relatives who are using one of the Dodt name variations.

We have mentioned the most common sources from which surnames are derived and investigated the meaning of tne Dodt family name. We must. now examine some of the idiosvncracies for name giving for the country of origin. Different cultures had different ways of choosing names for their offspring. Below are various nationalities and ethnic groups and some of the ways in which their names are derived.

The Origins Of Surnames Around The World


Belgian surnames are either of French or Dutch origin. In the North, surnames tend to be of a Dutch origin and are similar in nature to those found in the Netherlands. The remainder of the country falls under French influence, particularly the Walloon dialect, and surnames from these areas resemble those of the French.


Great Britain: Palmer (a palm-bearing pilgrim returned from the holy land), Weedman (one in charge of a heathen temple), Yale (a dweller at a comer, nook, or secret place) and Schoolcraft (a dweller in a hut in a small field or enclosure).


Except for the difference in language, the French system of names closely resembles that of the English. French contact with the English during the period of development of English surnames is largely responsible for the similarities. Please find the following surnames of French origin: Chevrier (one who took care of goats), Legault (a dweller by the woods), Pegues (one who produced and sold pitch, or wax) and Rozier (dweller near a rose bush).


Most German surnames are derived from occupations, colors or locations. Some are from descriptive forms (characteristic) such as Klein (little) and Gross (big). The following surnames are of German origin: Kreuser (one who had curley hair), Schluter (one who worked as a doorkeeper of the prison), Tobler (a dweller in a forest, or ravine) and Shuck (one who made and sold shoes).


Most Greek names are patronymic in origin or derive from geographical placenames. The most popular Greek name is Pappas, meaning descended from a priest. The following Greek surnames are derived from a religious, or characteristic origin: Kraikos (one who follows God), Xenos (the stranger), Galanis (one with blue eyes) and Psiharis (one who contributes for the good of his soul).


Up until the early 19th Century, most Jewish names were patronymic or 1ocational. However, during the persecutions in Germany, Jews were forced by law to take permanent surnames. Many were able to pay officials to choose their own surnames, usually one describing beauty. Unfortunately, many were unable to pay and were assigned names that were purposely offensive. Since many European Jews were strictly limited in their choice of professions, only a limited number of surnames are occupational in origin. Below please find some surnames of Hebrew origin. As you will see they are mostly descriptive in nature: Meier (the scholarly man), Ury (fire, light), Joffe (the handsome or beautiful person) and Shifrin (descendant of Shifra; beautiful).


Hereditary surnames were first used in Ireland as early as the 10th Century, but the custom did not become widespread until the 12th Century. Because ownership of land was determined by family relationships, pedigrees were accurately maintained from early times. This interest in descent is also the reason most Irish names are patroflymics, which are signified by either O or Mac. O stands for the old Gaelic word ua. meaning descended from, while Mac means son and is sometimes abbreviated to Mc or M’. Because of persecution, many people dropped the O and Mac from their names, but in modern times, the use of these prefixes has been resumed. Some interesting Irish surnames include the following: McClarv (the son of the clerk), Rogan (one with red hair, or a ruddy. complexion), Ryan (the grandson of Rian; little king) and (the son of the tympanist).

The Origin Of Given Names Around The World

Although your last name offers you the most substantial clues to your family history, first and middle names can also be valuable in tracing your family tree. We generally think of names with three parts: first, middle and last. First names are called "given" or "Christian" names, because early Christians changed their pagan first names to Christian names at baptism.

Most first names used in the Western World today originate from five languages: Hebrew, Teutonic (which included Germanic), Greek, Latin and Celtic (which includes Irish, Welsh and Scottish).

It’s fascinating to learn how easily first names fall into obvious categories. Hebrew contributed biblical names, and about one-half of the English-speaking population have first names from the New Testament such as Elizabeth, Mary, John and Joseph. The Teutonic tongues gave us names linked with warlike characteristics, such as Charles (to become adult), or Ethel (noble). The Greek, Latin and Celtic languages also gave us names for personal characteristics and abstract qualities. For example, the Greek name Andrew means "manly,"the Greek Dorothy is "gift of God,’* the Latin Victor means "victory in battle," and the Latin Laura translates to *’the air." Names of Celtic origin are almost poetic, such as Kevin meaning "gentle and beloved" and Morgan meaning ‘*sea dweller."

While there is a wealth of first names available, the actual selection process has been somewhat limited. It is necessary to remember that in 1545 the Catholic Church made the use of a Saint’s name manditory for baptism, so for centuries first names have been confined to the John-and-Mary tradition. In fact, in all western countries during the Middle Ages, there were only about 20 common names for infant boys and girls. And John and Mary were most frequently used. In the 1600s tile Protestants rejected anything associated with Catholicism, so in came names from the Old Testament, such as Elijah, Priscilla and Joshna.

Middle names weren’t used until the 15th Century when a second "first" name was used as a status symbol by Geman nobility. Many years passed before this practice became widespread, and in the United States, it did not become popular until after the Revolutionary War, when the fashion was to use the mother’s maiden name.

Perhaps you have or will come across an ancestor’s name with what appears to be a title. For example, "Esquire" following a name meant someone much respected, one step away from a knight. "Gentleman" was one step down from an Esquire. The title Goodman (or a woman was called Goody or Goodwife) meant the person was a household. Many other terms from our past have changed meaning. Esquire and Gentlemen were expanded through the years to include persons with special social standing in the community — doctors, clergymen, lawyers. Also “Senior and Junior” placed immediately following a name did not necessarily imply a father-and-son relationship. They could have been an uncle and nephew who bore the same name and lived near each other. The term cousin was widely used to mean an extended family, not legally just the childof an aunt or uncle.


Since the oarly 1:3th Centurv, Coats iff Arms and Heraldry have been a source of great fascination as well as a subject of true historical importance. It is easy to understand why more than half a million Coats of Arms recorded by individuals with their respective family names are still being researched and studied after more than seven centuries.

How the term "Coat of Arms" evolved makes an interesting story. Because wars were almost a continual occurrence during the Middle Ages, more and more armor was added to a knight’s battle uniform until the medieval warrior was finally protected from head to toe. The metal suit of armor always included a helmet to protect the head, thus it was virtually impossible to tell one knight from another. In order to prevent any mishaps on the battlefield, such as one friend injuring another, a means of identification was necessary. A colorful solution first came as knights painted patterns on their battle shields. These patterns were eventually woven into cloth surcoats which were worn over the suit of armor. In fact, many a horse was also seen prancing around in a fancy cloth surcoat with its master’s Coat of Arms ablaze on the side.

This colorful identification was certainly displayed with great pride. As more designs were created, it became necessary to register or copyright these designs, to prevent two l~lights from using the same insignia. Records were kept that gave each knight exclusive rights to his arms. In many cases, records were then compiled listing the family name and an exact description of its Coat of Arms. These are called "armorials" or "blazons." The word "heraldry" is associated with Coats of Arms due to the role of the "herald" in recording the blazons, and comes from a common practice at a medieval sporting event. Tournaments (or jousting contests) were popular during the days of knighthood, and as each soldier was presented at a tournament, a herald sounded tile trumpet and then announced the knight’s achievements and described his Arms. The heralds would then record the Arms as a way of ensuring that a family maintained its protective rights to have and use its individual Arms.

Heraldry And History

Coats of Arms are intertwined with heraldry and history. Heraldry offers a fascinating study of medieval lifestyles where we can surmise much regarding our forefathers. Historically, different creatures of nature denoted certain characteristics, and various inanimate shapes implied certain traits, historical factors or aspirations. For example, the chevron symbolized protection and has often been placed on Arms to tell others that its bearer achieved some notable feat. A symbol (or charge) placed on a Coat of Arms usually provided clues to a person’s being. Some Arms are an artistic interpretation of a person’s name, e.g. many of the Fisher Arms include dolphins or other fish. Many Arms reveal a person’s occupation. Others tell about less tangible characteristics, such as the early bearer’s hopes, wishes and aspirations. For example, hope is shown by a wheat garb or sheaf, and joy by garlands of flowers or a red rose. Crosses and religious symbols often meant the person felt a c’Ioseness to Iris god, or could have symbolized that the knight was a veteran of one of history’s bloodiest series of battles – The Crusades. Heraldic research is full of proud warriors boasting their war records via their Coats of Arms.

The first Arms were quite simple, consisting only of the shield. The design was set off with a horizontal or vertical band, star or half-moon; however, the renderings became more complex during later times. Immediately above the shield is the helmet, the style of which depends on the country and the status of the early bearer. The wreath, or torce, is mounted on top of the helmet. The crest wasn’t included on the Coat of Arms until the 13th Century. The crest was the emblem that survived when the banner was destroyed and the shield shattered, as a rallying symbol of the knight’s courage. It was painted on leather, sometimes thin metal or even wood, and was attached to the helmet, so that allies could easily pick out who was who. The lambrequin or mantling, now represented in strips, was once cloth which hung down from the helmet to cover the back of the neck. It meant that the bearer had been to battle. The mantling in most instances is of secondary importance to the shield and crest. Standardized mantlings are often used to illustrate different Coats of Arms. The ornate mantling illustrated with your shield has been designed to be used with any particular Coat of Arms.

Some families have also passed down mottos through the ages. They may have begun as war cries or were a variation of a family name. They might express piety, hope or determination, or commemorate a deed or past occasion. The historical tradition of Coats of Arms became more complicated as the designs became more complex. By 1419, Henry V of England found it necessary to impose rigid legal regulations over the use of Coats of Arms because court battles were becoming quite numerous.

The King forbade anyone to take on Arms unless by right of ancestry or as a gift from the Crown. Later Henry VIII even sent the heralds (now Royal Authenticators of Arms) into the shires on what were called "visitations." Unbelievable as it may seem to us today, these "visitations" were held once every generation for almost two centuries for the sole reason of officially verifying, listing or denying Arms in use. It is interesting to note that the language most commonly used by the heralds was Norman-French, the court language of the time. For instance, the blazon written in the Norman-French language, "D’azur a une fortune, posse sur une boule d’or," can be translated as follows, "Blue with the figure of fortune standing on a gold ball." Interestingly you’Il find that even the most complex blazon is normally only one sentence long.

The Bearing Of Arms

Under most heraldic rules, only first sons of first sons of the recipient of a Coat of Arms are permitted to bear their ancestor’s Arms. Younger sons may use a version of their father’s Arms, but the rules of heraldry say that they must be changed (‘differenced") somewhat. If the bearer of a Coat of Arms (called an "Armiger") dies without male heirs, his daughter may combine her father’s Arms with her husband’s Arms. This process is called "impaling. Although these principles seem very archaic, stiff and formal today, they do give us an idea of the rich, protective tradition which surrounded heraldry; through the ages.

There are over one million surnames in use throughout the world today. However, less then 75,000 of these names can be associated with a coat of arms. An early coat of arms granted to a person with your surname is pictured and described on the following page. You may, or may not be related by blood to this early namesake. No genealogical relationship to you, or your family is intended, or implied. You may wish to adopt for your own use today, or, it is possible to have your own coat of arms designed and registered depending on the country in which you reside.

This is not the Dodt Coat of Arms

Quoted from Family Heritage International book, Dodt Families Around the WorldThe Dodt coat of arms hereby illustrated (see boxed insert below) is officially documented in Siebmacher’s Wappenbuch. The original description of the arms (shield) is as follows:


When translated the blazon also desribes the original colours of the Dodt Arms as:

“In red, the skeleton of a man, running, brandishing an arrow placed horizontally spanning the shield, between its legs a skull over two crossed bones.”
Above the shield and helmet is the crest which is described as: “The skelton between two heraldic horns, blue and silver.”

To see the connection between the TODT and DODT names see spelling variations of Dodt names in the same quoted book above.


I was finally able to connect to your site and see the arms. This coat of arms is in the ancient (circa 1614) Siebmacher Wappenbuch but under the name: "Todt".In that earlier version of Siebmacher, there was no genealogy information given nor towns of origin.

It would be very unlikely to be able to connect such old arms to a living family.

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Dr. Dieter Birk, P.Geol. U Oakville, Ontario, Canada
* GeoFuel GeoScience BBS (905) 829-4097 * * <<<<<<<



Searching For Heraldry Around The World

Now that you are more familiar with the workings of heraldry, you will be able to pursue your own heraldic search.

Imagine how exciting it would be to discover that your family has the right to bear an historic Coat of Arms. There are a plethora of sources throughout Europe to contact regarding this important search. There are approximately 100,000 English Arms, including Wales and the six counties of Northern Ireland on the Rolls of the Royal College of Arms in London.

The Scots maintain their own heraldry, governed by their own tradition and rules, as do manv old craft guilds, including bakers, surgeons, dentists, barbers,
journalists and even circus riders. Arms are also designed and used by countries
and their military establishments, fraternities and sororities, corporations and
religious groups.

Germany, France and Italy have no current heraldic system (there has been no monarchy in any of these lands for some time) but the interest in Coats of Arms remains strong. Spain, without royal rulers until recent times, has always done a conscientious job of maintaining heraldic records. Many countries throughout Europe have organizations that can help you with your heraldic research. The following will describe many of these organizations and provide you with some interesting facts about them.

Searching For Heraldry In Belgium

It appears that heraldry in Belgium was mostly limited to the privileged nobility from the king down to his knights. You will find the Coats of Arms of ancient Belgian families, as well as those of families enobled by her various conquerors. Belgium’s turbulent history brought many cultural influences from other areas, so expect to find heraldry and symbols from the Holy Roman Empire, the Spanish, French and the Dutch. Requests for information should be directed to The Office of Genealogique et Heraldique de Belgique, Musies Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, 10 Parc du Cinquantenaire, B-I040 Brussels, Belgium.

Searching For Heraldry In France

When searching for heraldry in France, the researcher must be aware that different heraldic rules applied during different forms of government. France went from a monarchy, to republic, back to a monarchy and then the second empire. As long as there is no infringement on existing armorial bearings, everyone in France is free to assume a Coat of Arms. Although there is a great interest in civic heraldry, all registered Coats of Arms are protected by French Law.

If you are able to trace your family history back to the French aristocracy, you are eligible to join the Association de la Noblesse Francaise. The heraldic association to contact in France is Societe Francaise d’Heraldique et de Sigillographie, 113 Rue de Courcelles, Paris 17, France.

Searching For Heraldry In Germany And Austria

These countries were first known as part of the Holy Roman Empire. The oldest Coats of Arms in Germany and Austria were self-assumed, mostly by men returning from The Crusades. Towards the end of the 1300s, emperors began to award Arms to specially appointed persons known as "palace counts." When a commoner was raised to the rank of nobility, he was allowed to keep his original Coat of Arms, but added new charges, or quarterings. The earliest arms for commoners date back to the early 1200’s. For information on heraldry associated with Northern German names it is advisable to contact Der Herold, 1 Berlin 33 (Dableto), Archivstrasse 12-14, Berlin, Germany. For names of Southern German and Austrian origin you may wish to contact The Adler Society, Haarhof 4A, Vienna, Austria.

Searching For Heraldry In Great Britain And Ireland

At the head of the College of Arms in London is the Earl Marshall, an hereditary post held by the family of the Duke of Norfolk. The Earl Marshall is a royal appointment and he, in turn, appoints the Scottish and Irish heralds.

The law for the right to use armorial bearings in the British Isles is quite specific. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the granting and registration of all Coats of Arms is under the jurisdiction of the Earl Marshall, assisted by the College of Arms, and acting under charters granted to them on behalf of the Sovereign. To have a right to Arms in England and Wales you must have either obtained a grant of Arms yourself, proved you are descended in the male line from someone to whom Arms had been granted, or from someone whose Coat of Arms was recorded during the "visitations" made by the heralds in the 16th and 17th Centuries.

Unfortunately, heraldry came to be abused in the 18th Century. Many people adopted Arms to which they were not entitled, because they did not want to admit that they were of less grand lineage. This abuse of heraldry reached its peak during the Victorian Era.

However, some of you may have found a Coat of Arms recorded in a family album or Bible. If it is found to be genuine, you will most likely discover a wealth of genealogical information pertaining to your family history. But be prepared to find that you have no connection with the Arms in question and you will not be disappointed if no relationship exists. It is a worthwhile exercise to Investigate any Coat of Arms which could be linked to your family. For a small fee, the College of Arms will be able to indicate to whom the Coat of Arms actually belongs. The College of Arms is located on Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 4BT, England.

Great Britain has another large heraldic association to which you can write for further infOrnlatio~: The Heraldic Society, 28 Museum Street, London WCI, England.

hl Scotland, the law of Arms differs somewhat from that in England and Wales. Tilere have never been any "visitations" by heralds hl Scotland. However, an act was passed in 1672 that required all persons entitled to Arms to register them in the Register of All Arms and Bearings.

The authority which enforces the proper use of Arms is tile Lyon King of Arms, who acts on behalf of tile Crown. If you are researching Scottish heraldry or a particular Coat of Arms, it is well worth contacting the Court of the Lord Lyon, King of Arms, New Register House, Princes Street, Edinburgh EHI 3TY, Scotland.

The Ottoman Empire

Early in the 19th Century, the Ottoman Empire consisted of a vast conglomerate of both people and land on the European, African and Asian continents. In Europe there were over nine million people under Ottoman rule, most of them Christians. The first major rebellions against the Empire occurred in the beginning of the 19th Century. During the next 80 years, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro, Romania and Bulgaria were granted independence. After Albania was granted independence (1912), the old Ottoman empire was confined to the area around Constantinople. If you are able to trace your family history back to the Ottoman Empire, you may be able to obtain information from the archives in Turkey. We suggest you write to The Prime Minister Archives, Bas-Bakanlik Arsivi, Murdurlugo, Cagaloglu, Istanbul, Turkey. You may be able to find information relating to ancestors who lived at that time in Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Yugoslavia and Romania.

The Austro-Hungrian Empire

During the years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, 11 distinct national groups lived within the frontiers ruled by the Hapsburg Dynasty. These were Austrians, Croats, Czechs, Germans, Hungarians, Italians, Romanians, Serbs, Slovaks and other minor ethnic groups. The Austrians were found mostly in the area of Austria as it exists today. The Croatians were found in Yugoslavia; the Germans in some of the Hungarian provinces; the Czechs in Bohemia and Moravia; the Hungarians in Hungary and the eastern provinces; the Italians in South Tirol and Istria; the Romanians in Transylvania; the Serbs in Yugoslavia; and the Slovaks in Slovakia.

One serious problem every researcher encounters is the change in placenames that occurred with the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. If one is unable to obtain information from one source, remember to check the records in surrounding areas. Millions of Germans were left residing in Czechoslovakia and thousands of Austrians found themselves in Italy. Austria itself was reduced to the German-speaking part of the Empire, and Hungary was reduced to a small country having lost all of the lands in the east and southeast. Hungarians whose ancestors had Iived in Transylvania for a thousand years were forced to flee or become second class citizens of Romania. Today, over one and a half million people of Hungarian descent reside in Romania. The researcher must be aware of placename changes and make adjustments for boundary changes as they occurred over the years.

The Division of Germany

According to the Potsdam Agreement (1945), all German territories east of the Oder and Neisse Rivers were placed under Polish administration. The areas of Konigsberg, Northeastern Prussia and Memel were ceded to the Soviet Union. These two accords affected one-fourth of Germany. In addition, the Sudetenland was returned to Czechoslovakia.

It was decided that there should be a transfer of Germans from Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Thus began one of the largest movements of population in history. Over four million Germans had already fled as the Russians advanced. After the Potsdam Agreement took effect, five million Germans were forcibly expelled from areas occupied by Poland, as were another three million Sudeten Germans now living in Czechoslovakia. All told, more than 13 million Germans migrated front the land they had lived on for centuries, and more than one million died during the mass exodus.

How You Can Use the Dodt 1989 International Registry. to Aid Yon In Tracing Your Family Tree, Or In Locating Lost Family Members

The following registry can provide vou with an invaluable genealogical research aid. You might begin by writing to Dodt individuals in the county, state, province, or territory where your own family heritage research leads you. Frequently you’Il learn a great deal from the responses you’ll receive. The Dodt International Registry should get you started pursuing which of the 176 Dodt individuals could be related to you in the countries searched.

Certain surnames have no families or individuals listed in one or more of the six countries searched. This may be surprising to you; however, this information is quite valuable since it tells you that your search needn’t be pursued in that country. These searches often take months and years, only to end in frustration when one finds that there are no persons sharing a common surname.

This current International Registry for households bearing your surname may be useful when traveling to another region or foreign country. For instance, you may want to vary your itinerary to include an area where you know there are Dodt families living so that you can telephone or personally contact them. Oftentimes this type of contact leads to invaluable information; such as, what to do and where to go in the area, an introduction to another Dodt who has done extensive family historical research, or a missing clue in the unending pursuit of information regarding your forebears and descendents. This type of effort can be a key in finding the missing pieces in the family heritage puzzle. It may even lead you to discover a missing or lost family member.

If you would like to have additional Dodt population information related to another country which is not a part of the International Registry, our staff is dedicated to help you. Simply return the enclosed card entitled Additional Research Order Card. We’Il respond immediately if we can help and send the cost estimate for the search you require, Upon receiving your approval, our staff will begin their search and your report will be sent to you as soon as the work is completed.

We’re pleased that we can provide you with the following Dodt International Registry and hope that you find it informative, useful, and entertaining. When you wish to find a specific household in the 1989 Dodt International Registry, you’ll want to look in postal or zip code sequence, as the registry is formatted by postal area.

Please Note: The internaticnal name and address records are updated yearly in order to maintain the most current information. However, 1 out of every 10 householders moves to a new address each year. In rare instances, family members who should have been listed in the directory are missing, because of spelling mistakes and typing mistakes of the original data. When we send out a mailing, we are notified of address changes and householder additions by either the Post Office, or a customer. Yon will find an addendum of householders who have recently moved to a new address, or have been added, following the last page of each directon,. If you relocated sonnetline in the past 18 months, please consult tiffs page. You may even find that you are listed at both your old address and at your current residence.





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