This German surname of NECKER is of two-fold origin. It was a nickname which was applied to someone who teases or irritates another; it was a locational name meaning 'one who dwelt near the NECKAR' a river in Germany. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. A notable member of the name was Jacques NECKER (1732-1804) the French statesman and financier, born in Geneva. At 15 he went to Paris as a banker's clerk, and in 1762 established the London and Paris bank of Thellusson and NECKER. In 1776 he was made director of the treasury, and next year director-general of finance. Some of his remedial measures helped France, but his most ambitious scheme, the appointment of taxes, proved a disastrous failure. On 11th July he received the royal command to leave France at once, but the fall of the Bastille three days later frightened the king into recalling him. He finally resigned in September 1790, and retired to his estate near Geneva where he died. 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.
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.
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