This German and Jewish surname of BIERY was a metonymic occupational name for a brewer of beer, originally rendered in Latin documents in the form BIBER (to drink). The name is also spelt BIERBAUM, BIERER, BIERLY, BIERMAN, and BIERMANN. 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. The word Heraldry is derived from the German HEER, (a host, an army) and HELD, (champion): the term BLASON, by which the science is denoted in French, English, Italian and German, has most probably its origin in the German word 'BLAZEN' (to blow the horn). Whenever a new knight appeared at a Tournament, the herald sounded the trumpet, and as competitors attended with closed vizors, it was his duty to explain the bearing of the shield or coat-armour belonging to each. Thus, the knowledge of the various devices and symbols was called 'Heraldry'. The Germans transmitted the word to the French, and it reached England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. A notable member of this name was August BIER (l86l-l949) the German soldier born in Helsen, Waldeck. He became successively Professor of Surgery at Kiel, Greiswald,Bonn and Berlin. He invented new methods, researched into spiral anaethesia, and was the first to use cocaine. Edward Otto BIERMAN was born on 26th May l923. He was a physician and the appointments he held included resident physician at St. Louis University from l953 - l956. He was President of the Research Foundation for diseases of the eye. His publications include many papers in the field of study and he resides at Santa Monica in California in the United States of America. The bear depicted in the arms has generally been regarded with a mixture of fear and amusement, due to its strength and unpredictable temper on the one hand and its clumsy gait on the other. Both these qualities are no doubt reflected in the choice of using the animal in the arms. Throughout the Middle Ages the bear was a familiar figure in popular entertainments such as bear baiting and dancing bears.
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