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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, German


The origins the old family name Messer can be found within medieval Austria. While the patronymic and metronymic surnames, which are derived from the name of the father and mother respectively, are the most common form of a hereditary surname in Germany, occupational surnames also emerged during the late Middle Ages. Many people, such as the Messer family, adopted the name of their occupation as their surname. However, an occupational name did not become a hereditary surname until the office or type of employment became hereditary. The surname Messer was an occupational name for a knife maker. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old German word messer, meaning knife, and is often attached to the word schmidt, meaning smith or craftsman.

Messer Early Origins



The surname Messer was first found in Austria, where this family became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. Chronicles first mention Niklaus Messer of Freiburg in 1369, Peter Messersmidel of Iglau in 1385, and Johann Melczer der Messer of Breslau in 1370. Always prominent in social affairs, the name became an integral part of that turbulent region as it emerged to form alliances with other families within the Feudal System and the nation.

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Messer Spelling Variations


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Messer Spelling Variations



Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Messer include Messer, Messen, Messe, Messa, Meser, Messerer, Messerschmidt, Messerschmitt, Messerschmied, Messerle, Messerli, Messerlee, Messerly and many more.

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Messer Early History


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Messer Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Messer research. Another 259 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1835, 1685, 1735 and 1835 are included under the topic Early Messer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Messer Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Messer Early Notables (pre 1700)



During this period prominent bearers of the name Messer were Daniel Gottlieb Messerschmidt (1685-1735), a German physician, naturalist and geographer; Lord Messerschmidt, the Lord of Wittbeck and...

Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Messer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



After the First World War, Austria became a republi c. The Treaty of Versailles broke up the empire in 1919 and many of the Sudeten Germans were incorporated into the new nation of Czechoslovakia. In the 20th century, many Austrians migrated to other parts of Germany or Europe, as well as to North Ameri ca. In the United States, the majority of settlers landed in Philadelphia, and moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Many German settlers also migrated to Canada, particularly Ontario and the Prairies. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Messer were

Messer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • James Messer, who came to Virginia in 1653
  • James Messer arrived in Virginia in 1653
  • James Messer, who arrived in Virginia in 1653

Messer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Sylvester Messer arrived in America from England in 1701 with his wife, 2 sons and 2 daughters
  • Sylvester Messer emigrated to America in 1709
  • Koenraet Messer, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • Pieter Messer, who landed in New York in 1709
  • Margaretta Messer came to New York City in 1710
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Messer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Sebastian Messer settled in Baltimore in 1835 with his wife and 3 children
  • Sebastian Messer, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1845
  • Kilian Messer, who landed in Valparaiso, Chile in 1850
  • W Messer, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Louise Messer, aged 21, landed in New York in 1854
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Messer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Carolina Messer arrived in Quebec in 1850
  • Carolina Messer, who landed in Quebec in 1850
  • Maria Messer, who arrived in Quebec in 1850
  • Wilhelm Messer, who arrived in Quebec in 1850

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Contemporary Notables of the name Messer (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Messer (post 1700)



  • Thomas M Messer (b. 1920), Czech-born American museum director, director of the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, of the Guggenheim Museum (1961-), and was the president of the Society of Art Museum Directors (1974-75), recipient of the Cross of the Order of Merit (West Germany), the Legion d'honneur (1980), and the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art (1981)
  • Glen Edmund Messer (1895-1995), American aviation pioneer
  • Wallace Frank Messer (1925-2001), American sportscaster
  • Erica Messer, American television writer, producer and story editor
  • Jonathan Messer (b. 1973), Australian theatre and film director
  • Donald Charles Frederick "Don" Messer (1909-1973), Canadian folk musician, leader of "Don Messer's Jubilee" which ran from 1959-1969

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Messer Family Crest Products


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Messer Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



    Other References

    1. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
    2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    3. Preuss, Otto. Die Lippischen Familiennamen mit Berücksichtigung der Ortsnamen. Detmold: Meyer'sche Hofbuchh, 1887. Print.
    4. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
    5. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
    6. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
    7. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
    8. Strassburger, Ralph B. German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
    9. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    10. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
    11. ...

    The Messer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Messer 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 8 March 2016 at 13:00.

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