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Bavaria, Germany is the ancestral home of the Risner family. The Germans began using hereditary surnames in the 12th century. Risner is an occupational name, which was derived from the kind of work done by the original bearer. It is a name for a wood carver. Checking further we found the name was derived from the medieval German word ris or risle, which means branch or twig. Furthermore, there are numerous places in Germany named Reisen. There is a town called Reisen in Bavaria and a town Reissen in Thuringia.

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The surname Risner was first found in Bavaria, where the name became noted for its many branches within the region, each house acquiring a status and influence which was envied and enrolled by the princes of the region. The name may have its origin, or the family may have lent its name to the town Reisen in Bavaria and the town Reissen in Thuringia. Chronicles first mention Hanke von Reysen of Glatz in 1348, and the name Reisner is found in 1348 in Bruenn, 1386 in Kolion, and 1383 in Wuerzburg. The variation Reyssener is found in Freiberg as early as 1465. In their later history the various branches became a powers unto themselves and were elevated to the ranks of nobility as their influence grew.

In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Risner include Reisner, Reisener, Reissner, Reissener, Reisne, Reisen, Reissen, Reissne, Reysner, Reyssner, Reysener, Reyssener, Risener and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Risner research. Another 255 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1653, 1752, and 1816 are included under the topic Early Risner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Prominent among members of the name Risner in this period include Friedrich Risner (c.1533-1580), German mathematician, the first to propose the idea of a portable camera obscura; Lieutenant Field-Marshal Reisner, who was awarded the title of Baron in 1816 for his 40 years of outstanding service in...

Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Risner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Thousands of German settlers came to North America between the mid-17th and mid-20th centuries. The hardships of the long voyage were balanced by the opportunity to escape poverty and religious persecution. The descendents of these settlers still populate the states of Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many also live in Ontario and the prairie provinces of Canada. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Risner or a variant listed above:

Risner Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Tobias Risner who arrived in Maryland in 1763

Risner Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Henry Clay Risner, aged 38, who settled in Baltimore, in 1904
  • Woitech Risner, aged 42, who emigrated to the United States from Bietz, in 1907
  • Perl Risner, aged 50, who settled in America from Odessa, Russia, in 1908
  • Katarzyna Risner, aged 17, who landed in America from Dobra, Galicia, in 1910
  • Gyorgy Risner, aged 25, who emigrated to the United States from Kislonkos, Hungary, in 1911
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  • Chris Risner, American producer, best known for his work on 46 episodes of the series Person of Interest (2013-2016)
  • Brigadier General James Robinson "Robbie" Risner (b. 1925), American general officer and fighter pilot, double recipient of the Air Force Cross the highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Air Force
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
    2. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
    3. Götze, Alfred. Familiennamen im badischen Oberland. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1918. Print.
    4. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
    5. Garland, Mary and Henry Garland Editions. Oxford Companion To German Literature 3rd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print. (ISBN 0198158963).
    6. Oswald, G. Lexicon der Heraldik. Leipzig: 1984. Print.
    7. Nied, Edmund. Fraenkische Familiennamen urkundlich gesammelt und sprachlich gedeutet. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1933. Print.
    8. Neubecker, Ottfried. Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon der bürgerlichen Geschlechter Deutschlands, Oesterreichs und der Schweiz. Battenberg, München: 1985. Print.
    9. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
    10. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
    11. ...

    The Risner Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Risner 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 5 May 2016 at 13:49.

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