An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: German, Scottish
The origins the old family name Messmer 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 Messmer 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 Messmer 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.
The surname Messmer 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.
One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Messmer include Messer, Messen, Messe, Messa, Meser, Messerer, Messerschmidt, Messerschmitt, Messerschmied, Messerle, Messerli, Messerlee, Messerly and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Messmer research. Another 259 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1835, 1685, 1735 and 1835 are included under the topic Early Messmer History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Messmer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Austria was made a republic after the First World War. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was broken up by the Treaty of Versailles and many of its people found themselves in the new nation of Czechoslovakia. Many other Austrians and expatriate Austrians made their way to North America in the 20th century. Most landed in Philadelphia, later continuing on to the states of Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Some Austrian settlers also went to western Canada and Ontario. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Messmer or a variant listed above:
Messmer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Messmer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
The Messmer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Messmer 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 4 August 2015 at 14:06.