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 Mestemacher 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 Mestemacher was an occupational name for a knife maker having derived from the Old German word messer, meaning knife.
Early Origins of the Mestemacher family
Austria, where the name could be considered to have made a great contribution to the feudal society which became the backbone of modern Europe. Literally, the name could either mean "one who made knives and daggers," for "Metz" is the mediaeval form of "Messer," or it could mean "one who operates a mill," for "metze" was the medaieval weight scale for foodstuff such as corn and flour. Chronicles first mention one Peter mit der metzen of Glatz in 1356, and a "Mecze" who was the wife of Ramfold von Gersdorf in 1390. Metz is also the Germanized form of the Latin "Mediomatrica," a city on the Moselle River in what was once Westphalia, but is now France, which Caesar described as one of the oldest and most important towns of Gaul. The name "Metzer" then means "from the city of Metz." Strasbourg chronicles mention Conrad Metzer von Hagenau in 1295. The name became prominent in local affairs and branched into many houses which played important roles in the tribal and national conflicts, in which each group sought power and status in an ever changing territorial profile.
Early History of the Mestemacher family
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Mestemacher 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 Mestemacher include Metz, Metzmacher, Metzner, Metze, Mets, Metsch and many more.
Early Notables of the Mestemacher family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Mestemacher 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 Mestemacher were Andrew Metz, his wife, and four children, Sebastian Metz, his wife, and three children, and Simon Metz with his wife and three children, all of whom emigrated to England and/or America in 1709. Numerous bearers of this name arrived in Philadelphia in the 1730s, and other wave arrived in Texas in the 1840s, among them being Johann Metz with his wife Caroline, Peter Metz with his wife Magda Dienemann, and Philip Heinrich Metz who came with his wife Marie Meyer. Balser Mets and Hans Jacob Mets came to Philadelphia in 1733.
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