The surname of EIFLER is a French and German regional name for someone from the district bounded by the mid-Rhine, Moselle and Ardennes known as the EIFEL. The first record of the placename occurs in AD.c800, in the Latin form 'in pago Aflense Eiflense. The name is also spelt EIFEL, EIFFEL and EIFFLER. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. The most notable of the name was Alexander Gustave EIFFEL (1832-1923) the French engineer, born in Dijon, designer of many notable bridges and viaducts. The EIFFEL tower, 985 feet high, was erected in 1887-89 on the Champ-de-Mars in Paris at a cost of 260,OOO pounds for the World Exhibition of 1889, and was the highest building in the world until 1930. In 1893 he was condemned to two years' imprisonment and fined for breach of trust in connection with the abortive French Panama and Canal scheme. 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. The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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