This German and Jewish nickname was derived from the Old German DRASLARI. It is also spelt as Dreiser. The name was originally an occupational name for a turner, the man who would be responsible for making small objects, not just from wood, but also from bone, ivory and amber, all of which were widely used in the Middle Ages for their decorative value. 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. Conrad and Udrich dictus Drescher were documented in Nussbaum in 1284, and Conrad der Droesche was recorded in 1291. The name was taken to England by early settlers and Robert le Dressour, who was recorded in County Lancashire in 1324 and he appears to be the first of the name recorded. Adam Dressur was recorded in 1332 in the County of Yorkshire. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification. An eminent member of the name Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser (1871-1945),was the American novelist born in Indiania. He was the eleventh child of a poor Catholic immigrant father. He did odd jobs before becoming a highly successful journalist and wrote 'Sister Carrie' in 1900. 'Jennie Gerhardt' which he wrote in 1911 established him as a novelist.
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