This surname of TEGMEIER is a German occupational name for an official responsible for collecting, on behalf of the lord of the manor, tithes of agricultural produce owed as rent. The more prosperous tenants had to contribute wine and corn, those with smaller holdings, fruit, vegetables, milk, cheese, beer and poultry. The Old German term for this official was ZEHENDOERE. The surname is most common in Bavaria, Austria, Switzerland and Wurttemberg. Other spellings of the name include ZENER, ZEHENTNER, ZENTNER, CENTER, TEGEDER, TAGEDER, TEGTMANN and ZENTNER. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. Francis Bertram ZENER, born on the 24th May 1900, was a physician and surgeon. He was a member and former treasurer of the American society for the study of sterility. He was the author of numerous studies in the field. 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.
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