The associated coat of arms for this name are recorded in J.B Rietstaps Armorial General. Illustrated by V & H.V Rolland's. This Monumental work took 23 years to complete and 85,000 coats of Arms are included in this work. This German, Dutch and Jewish surname of VISSER was occasionally selected because of its associations with the Hebrew given name of YONA or JONAH, because Jonah in the book of the Bible that bears his name, was swallowed up by 'a Great Fish' and blessed by his father Jacob, with the words 'Let them grow into a multitude'. It was also an occupational name for a catcher or seller of fish or a nickname for someone bearing some supposed resemblance to a fish. The name can also be spelt FISH, FICHBACH (fish-stream), FISCHLIN, FISHSON and FISCHELOVITCH, to name but a few. Surnames which were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have the same meaning in many languages. The court of Charlemagne (Charles the Great, king of the Franks (742-814) was Christian and Latin speaking). The vernacular was the Frankish dialect of Old High German, and the personal names in use were Germanic and vernacular. These names were adopted in many parts of northwest Europe, particularly among the noble ruling classes. Hereditary surnames were found in Germany in the second half of the 12th century - a little later than in England and France. It was about the 16th century that they became stabilized. A minor notable of the name was Halene Hatcher VISHER, born on the 18th June 1909. He was a geographer, and his appointments included Assistant Professor of Geography at Murray State College from 1945 until 1948, and Specialist at the Geography and Conservation at the US Office of Education in Washington. He is the author of books 'Better Living Through Wise Use of Resources' (1950) and 'A Determination of Conservation Principles' (1960). The Dutch language is most closely related to Low German, and its surnames have been influenced both by German and French naming practices. The preposition 'van' is found especially with habitation names, and the 'de' mainly with nicknames. Compared to other countries, Dutch heraldry is notably simpler, some of the shields bearing only a single charge. Generally speaking one helmet, one shield and one crest has been used, quartering is uncommon and mottoes are rare.
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