This surname SCHNUR was an Ashkenazic Jewish name from the Yiddish male given name SCHNEYER, ultimately from the Latin SENIOR (elder). When traditional Jews were forced to take family names by the local bureaucracy, it was an obligation imposed from outside traditional society, and people often took the names playfully and let their imaginations run wild by choosing names which corresponded to nothing real in their world. No one alive today can remember the times when Jews took or were given family names (for most Ashkenazim this was the end of the 18th century or the beginning of the 19th) although many remember names being changed after emigration to other countries, such as the United States and Israel in recent years. The name has many variant spellings which include SCHNORR, SCHNEURE, SHNEOR, SZNEJOR and SCHNEERSOHN. A noteworthy member of the name was Baron Julius von CAROLSFELD SCHNORR (1794-1872) the German historical and landscape painter, born in Leipzig. In Rome, from 1818 to 1825 he became associated with the school of Cornelius and Overbeck and helped decorate with frescoes the Villa Massimo. He went to Munich in 1825, and became professor of historical painting. In 1846 he became professor at Dresden and director of the gallery. He painted many frescoes, and in addition designed stained-glass windows, among others for Glasgow Cathedral and St. Paul's, London. When the first immigrants from Europe went to America, the only names current in the new land were Indian names which did not appeal to Europeans vocally, and the Indian names did not influence the surnames or Christian names already possessed by the immigrants. Mostly the immigrant could not read or write and had little or no knowledge as to the proper spelling, and their names suffered at the hands of the government officials. The early town records are full of these mis-spelt names most of which gradually changed back to a more conventional spelling as education progressed.
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