This surname of EISENBACH is a German and Ashkenazic Jewish occupational name for an ironworker or smith, or an ironmonger. The name was originally derived from the German word EISEN (iron). The name may also have been used as a nickname with reference to the strength and hardness of iron or to its colour, while as a Jewish name it was also adopted as an ornamental name from the modern German 'iron' or from the Yiddish 'ayzn'. The name has numerous variant spellings which include EISENMANN, EISNER, AIZEN, AJZEN, IJZER, EISENBAUM, EISENREICH and EISENWIG, to name but a few. The most notable of the name was Dwight David EISENHOWER (1890-1969) the American general and 34th president, born in Denison, Texas of immigrant stock originating in the Rhineland. He graduated from West Point Military Academy in 1915. Taking the war college course in 1928 and gaining experience under the secretary for war, by 1939 he had become chief military assistant to General MacArthur in the Philippines. With the establishment of NATO in 1950 he was made supreme commander of the combined forces, but in 1952 the popularity which he had gained in Europe swept him to nomination and ultimate victory in the presidential elections. Standing as a Republican he won by a large majority, and was re-elected in 1956. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. 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.
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