The surname of SCHRYVER is of German origin. The name was both occupational and an official name 'the writer' a clerk working in public offices. The name is also spelt SCHREBER, SZREIBER, SCHREIBER, SCHRIJVER, SKRIVER and SCHREIVERS. A family by the name of Schreiber were established in England circa. 1721 by Carl Schreiber (1680-1760) a native of Durlach in Swabia.A notable member of the name was Lady Charlotte Elizabeth Schreiber (1812-95) the Welsh scholar diarist, born in Uffington, Lincolnshire, a daughter of the earl of Lindsey. She is best known for her part in translating and editing 'The Mabinogion'. A lifelong collector, she became an authority on fans and playing cards, and bequeathed her collection to the British Museum. Her famous collection of china was presented to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Surnames as we recognise them today are believed to have been introduced by the Normans after the Invasion of 1066. The first mention of such names appears in the Domesday Book and they were progressively adopted between the 11th and 15th centuries. It was the nobles and upper classes who first assumed a second name, setting them apart from the common people who continued to use only the single name given to them at birth. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that it became common practice to use a secondary name, originally a name reflecting the place of birth, a nickname, an occupational name or a baptismal name which had been passed on from a parent to the child, as an additional means of identification. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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