This English and German surname of AICHER was a topographic name for someone who lived near an oak tree or in an oak wood. In some cases the name may be a habitation name from minor places named with this word, such as OAKE in County Somerset. It may also have been a nickname for someone as strong as an oak. The name has numerous variant spellings which include AIKMAN, EKEBERG, EICH, AICHLER, EICHNER, EICHMANN, AICHMANN, EKBERGH, EKBLADH and EKROTH, to name but a few. AIKMAN is the name of an old-established Scottish family, whose seat is at Aberbrethick, The Ross. Because of the close relationship between the English and German languages, some Germans are able to transform their names to the English form just by dropping a single letter. Many Germans have re-spelt their names in America. A great number of immigrants from Germany settled in Pennsylvania. After the start of the first World War, Germans in great numbers Anglicized their names in an effort to remove all doubt as to their patriotism. Afterwards some changed back, and then during World War II the problem became acute once more, and the changing started all over again, although not with as much intensity. A notable member of this name was Anders Gustaf EKEBERG (l767-l8l3) Swedish chemist and mineralogist. Professor of chemistry at Uppsala, he discovered the element tantalum in l802, choosing the name because of the tantalizing work involved in finding something to react with it. German or Teutonic heraldry extended its sphere of influence over central Europe and spread into Scandinavia. It is most notable for its design and treatment of crests, most of which reflect the arms in the charge or tinctures (colours) or both, which is unknown in British heraldry. Teutonic Europe assembled many arms on a single shield, each bearing its corresponding crest on a helmet. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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