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 Messershmidt 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 Messershmidt 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.
Early Origins of the Messershmidt family
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.
Early History of the Messershmidt family
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Messershmidt Spelling Variations
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 Messershmidt include Messer, Messen, Messe, Messa, Meser, Messerer, Messerschmidt, Messerschmitt, Messerschmied, Messerle, Messerli, Messerlee, Messerly and many more.
Early Notables of the Messershmidt family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Messershmidt family to the New World and Oceana
After the First World War, Austria became a republic. 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 America. 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 Messershmidt were James Messer, who came to Virginia in 1653. Sylvester Messer emigrated to England and/or America in 1709; while Margaretta Messer came to New York City in 1710. Louis Messerle came to Philadelphia in 1851.
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