This surname of NEUMEISTER was a German, Scottish and English status name for a newly appointed mayor. The name was originally derived from the Old French word MAIRE, and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form MAIOR (greater, superior); in France the title denoted various minor local officials, and the same is true of Scotland. In England the term was normally restricted to the chief officer of a borough, and the surname may have been given not only to a citizen of some standing who had held this office, but also as a nickname for a pompous or officious person. The name in Germany was originally for a village headman or similar official, and the German term also acquired the sense 'steward' 'bailiff' and later came to denote a tenant farmer. The name has numerous variant spellings which include MAIER, MEYER, MEIER, MEIRI, MERRE, MAYER NEUMAIRE, NEWMEIRE, and MAYERL to name but a few. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. A minor notable of the name is Carl Melvin NEUMEYER, born on the 10th August, 1911. He is an educator and his appointments have included Assistant Dean and Professor of Music at the Southern Methodist University from 1942 until 1952, and Dean at the School of Music, Illinois, from 1952. He wrote 'History of the National Association of Schools of Music' (1954). A notable member of the name is John NEUMEIER, born in 1942, the American dancer, choreographer and artistic director, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A choreographer with a large European following and a strong attachment to Germany, he danced with the Stuttgart Ballet (1963-69) before assuming leadership of the Frankfurt Ballet and the Hamburg Ballet.
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