This German and Jewish surname of SHY is a corruption of the name SCHEER which was an occupational name for a sheep-shearer, or someone who used scissors to trim the surface of finished cloth and remove excessive nap. The name is also spelt SCHEER, SCHEERE, SCHERRER, SHERER and SZERER. 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 first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages. A notable member of the name was Reinhard SCHEER (1863-1928) the German naval commander, born in Obernkirchen, Germany. He went to sea as a naval cadet in torpedo craft. As vice-admiral, he commanded the 2nd Battle Squadron of the German High Seas fleet at the outset of World War I. He succeeded as commander-in-chief in 1916, and was in command at the indecisive Battle of Jutland in 1916. He briefly became chief of the admiralty staff in 1918, before his retirement. 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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