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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: Dutch, English, German
The surname Geyer is a nickname surname; that is, it is derived from a nickname given to the original bearer. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. Often nicknames described strong traits or attributes that people wished to emulate in a specific animal. In the pre-Christian era, many pagan gods and demi-gods were believed to be a mixture of animals and humans, such as the Greek god Pan who was the god of flocks and herds and was represented as a man with the legs, horns and ears of a goat. In the Middle Ages, anthropomorphic ideas, which attributed human qualities and form to gods or animals, were held about the characters of other living creatures. They were based on the creature's habits. Moreover, these associations were reflected in folk tales, mythology, and legends which portrayed animals behaving as humans. The surname Geyer is derived from the Old German word "gir," which means "vulture." It was given to a person known for greedy, predatory ways.
The surname Geyer was first found in Padeborn, in the ancient duchy of Saxony, where this family name became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. As early as 1288 Johann Gyr appears in mediaeval feudal documents as county ruler in Warburg. As old as these documents may be, the name is also associated with families of ancient nobility in Austria and Franconia (later Hessen). Always prominent in social affairs, the name Geyer became an integral part of that turbulent region as it emerged to form alliances with other families within the Feudal System and the nation.
Spelling variations of this family name include: Geier, Geyer, Gayer, Gaier, Gire, Gyre, Geyre, Gayre, Geyr and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Geyer research. Another 267 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1490, 1525, 1665, 1685, and 1743 are included under the topic Early Geyer History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Geyer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Geyer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Geyer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Geyer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
The Geyer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Geyer Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 24 May 2016 at 13:28.