Recorded in over two hundred separate spellings, including such varied forms as George, Jorg, Georgius, Hirche, Hirjak, Horak, Horik, Hiroz, Hiriza, Yurak, to Jorat, Yegorov and Djordjevic, this notable surname is of Ancient Greek origins. It is also for very obscure reasons, the patron saint of England. Deriving from the word "Georgios" meaning a farmer, the name was used in Europe throughout the early Christian period, being associated with a martyr of the 3rd century, supposedly killed at Nicomedia in the year 303. The popularity of the name increased greatly at the time of the famous Crusades in the 11th and 12th centuries, when it became the practice for returning crusaders and pilgrims to name their children after biblical figures from the Old Testament. (St) George figured largely in this revival, and when King Edward 111rd of England founded the Order of the Garter in 1348, he did so under the assumed patronage of St. George. The range and volume of spellings since the 12th century a.d. makes it very difficult for researchers to provide examples of all the ongoing developments over the past seven centuries, and examples have had to be selected at random from the surving medieval European recordings. These include: Everadus Georgii of Hamburg, Germany, in the year 1256, and William George, in the London registers, dated 1412. William Georgeson was a landholder in Scotland, having the tenancy of Coupar Grange, in 1471, whilst Henry George, aged 19 yrs., was one of the first settlers to the New World, being recorded in Virgina in 1635. Rudolf Horak was a christening witness when his daughter Veronika was christened at Roven, Pardubice, Czecholslovakia, on March 21st 1680, and Geronimo de Hiroz, is recorded at Valadolid, Spain, on January 27th 1727. The first known recording of the family name anywhere is that of Hugo Georgii, of the county of Norfolk, England, in 1222 a.d.
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