Recorded in over two hundred and fifty spellings ranging from Domenco, Dominico, Domingo, short or nickname forms such as Menco, Meneo, Mino, and found throughout the western world, this famous surname is of regarded as being of medieval Spanish origin. It derives from the Roman (Latin) word "Dominicus", meaning "belonging to the lord god". The name was given considerable impetus by the fame of the Spanish saint "Dominicus", who founded the Dominican order of monks. Surnames derived from personal names are the oldest surname type, and in the Christian world are often connected with the twelve "Crusades" when various European kings lead expeditions to try to wrest the Holy Land, and particularly Jerusalem, from the Moslems. As a result of the crusades it became fashionable in Europe to name children, particularly sons, after biblical characters. Recordings of the surname taken at random from surviving civil and religious registers include Ambrosio Meneo, at Chiclana, Cadiz, Spain, in 1537, and Dennys Dominicus, who was buried at St James church, Clerkenwell, London, in 1576, and the marriage of Blas Dominguez to Catalina de Balbuena, at Santa Maria Magdalena, Valladolid, on January 17th 1584. A coat of arms associated with the name has the blazon of a green shield, charged with two golden towers joined at the middle by a black chain, and surmounted by a black eagle. The first recorded spelling of the family name in England is that of Dominicus de Buketon. This was dated 1326, in the register of England known as "The Fines Roll", during the reign of King Edward 11nd, 1307 - 1327. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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