Messersmith History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The origins the old family name Messersmith 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 Messersmith 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 Messersmith 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 Messersmith family
The surname Messersmith 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.
Early History of the Messersmith family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Messersmith research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1835, 1685, 1735 and 1835 are included under the topic Early Messersmith History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Messersmith 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 Messersmith include Messer, Messen, Messe, Messa, Meser, Messerer, Messerschmidt, Messerschmitt, Messerschmied, Messerle, Messerli, Messerlee, Messerly and many more.
Early Notables of the Messersmith family (pre 1700)
During this period prominent bearers of the name Messersmith 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 Messersmith Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Messersmith migration to the United States +
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 Messersmith were
Messersmith Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Johan Jurg Messersmitharrived in Philadelphia in 1748
- Johan Jurg Messersmith, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1748 
- Hans Henrich Messersmith, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1753 
Messersmith Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Henry Messersmith, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 
- J S Messersmith, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 
Contemporary Notables of the name Messersmith (post 1700) +
- Walter L. Messersmith, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1972
- George Strausser Messersmith (1883-1960), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Cuba, 1940-42; Mexico, 1941-46; Argentina, 1946-47
- Frank S. Messersmith, American Republican politician, Candidate for Florida State House of Representatives 78th District, 1978
Related Stories +
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)