This German surname of REGER is of three-fold origin. It was a nickname which was bestowed on a tall thin person with spindly legs, derived from the Old German word REIGER (heron). It was also a nickname for a passionate person, from the German word REGEN, to be excited, moved. The name was adopted by Jews for someone who was industrious, quick and nimble. Other spellings of the name include REGERMAN and REYGER. 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. 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 person of this name was Max REGER (1873-1916). A German composer, he taught music at Weisbaden and Munich and later became director and professor of music at Leipzig University. His works included composition of organ music, piano concertos and choral works. The Rose depicted in the arms is used as a distinction for the seventh son. The Distinction of Houses are used to distinguish the younger from the elder branches of a family, and to show from which line each is descended.
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