Misenheimer Coat of Arms / Misenheimer Family Crest
The surname of MISENHEIMER is a Germanic personal name composed of the elements HEIM (home) and MISEN (middle) a name meaning the dweller at the middle house. The name has many variant spellings which include MISSENER, MISHYMAN, MISSINER, DRAHEME, HAYIM, CHAIMSOHN and KHAIMOVICH. In the Middle Ages the majority of the population lived in cottages or huts rather than houses, and in most cases this name probably indicates someone who had some connection with the largest and most important building of the settlement, perhaps in a religious house or simply the local 'great house'. In some cases it may indicate a 'householder' someone who owned his own dwelling as opposed to being a tenant. Surnames which were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have the same meaning in many languages. The court of Charlemagne (Charles the Great, king of the Franks (742-814) was Christian and Latin speaking). The vernacular was the Frankish dialect of Old High German, and the personal names in use were Germanic and vernacular. These names were adopted in many parts of northwest Europe, particularly among the noble ruling classes. Hereditary surnames were found in Germany in the second half of the 12th century - a little later than in England and France. It was about the 16th century that they became stabilized. A minor notable of the name was J.R. MISSENER, editor and publisher of the Mount Joy 'Star and News' and editor and publisher of the Steelton 'Advocate' and 'Verdict'. He was born on March 24th, 1851. His ancestors had originally come from Switzerland two hundred years before. His grandfather had been a justice of the peace, and his father a miller and farmer. He was married in March, 1877, to Miss Fannie Weaver, by whom he had nine children. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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