This surname is of medieval German origin, and derives from the Middle High German "edel", noble (Old High German "edili", a derivative of "adel", nobility), with "mann", man, and in the Middle Ages was given as a status name to a free citizen, ranking below the nobility and knightly class, and above the masses of the servile population. The social order was arranged thus: Graf(mann), from the Middle High German "grave, grabe", count, magistrate; Ritter(mann), from the Low German "ridder", mounted warrior, knight, and Edel(mann) (derivation as above).Occasionally, this surname is confused with "Adelmann" or "Adlemann", a Low German diminutive form of "Adel", itself deriving from any of the various Germanic personal names with the first element "adal", noble, for example, "Adalberht", noble-bright. Modern variants Edel(er), E(i)delman, Eidler, Aidler, E(i)delheit and Edelheid. Recordings of Edelmann from German Church Registers include the marriage of Jocuff Edelmann to Margareta Fischer at Annaberg, Chemnitz, Sachsen, in 1533, and the birth of Hans Edelmann , at Boerslingen, Donaukreis, Wuertt, in 1543. Hans Salamo Edelmann, Freeman at Neuenstein, married Sabine Ursula Breutner, a widow, in 1653. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Dominus Edelmann (miles), which was dated 1285, in the "Medieval Records of Freiberg", Germany, during the reign of Rudolf 1 of Habsburg, 1273 - 1291. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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