The surname STINEMAN was a German, Jewish and Swedish topographic name for someone who lived either on stony ground or by a notable outcrop of rock or a stone boundary-marker or monument. It was also found as an occupational name for someone who worked in stone, a mason or stone cutter. About the middle of the 12th century castles and mansions of the king and important nobles and cathedrals and churches were starting to be built by stone. Earlier wood had been used, and the castles were surrounded by ridges of earth and a wooden stockade was used for protection. Formidable castles were first constructed in stone by the Normans after the Conquest of England in 1066. Thus, the work of the mason, the builder of stone came to be an important craft, and the elaborate carving was a significant part of his work. Germany in the 14th century had more than ten thousand castles and strongholds throughout the country. The name is also spelt STEINEMANN, STEIMANN, STEENMANN, STEEN, STEINBECK, STENBACK, STENHOLM and STENSTROM to name but a few. There are many German-Jewish names which are merely the results of fancy or the vindictive thoughts of petty officials, adopted when the Jews in Europe were compelled to take surnames in the early part of the nineteenth century. Some of the most familiar include STEIN (stone) usually meaning a precious gem. Many who adopted names with pleasant connotations had to pay handsomely to the money-grabbing official for the privilege. Many other names were from names of German towns and cities, and are sometimes borne by other than Jews. From the 16th century many Jewish family names were derived from the house or shop signs in the Jewish quarter of Frankfort and elsewhere. House signs were particularly favoured by Jews, and they were reluctant to give them up. When the city council in 1776, ordered the houses in Frankfort's Judengasse to be numbered, there was such a resistance that they fined the whole Jewish community.
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