This surname ENFINGER was an English, German and Ashkenazic Jewish nickname, originally derived from the Old German word FINGAR. The name may have originally denoted a man who had some peculiarity of the fingers, such as possessing supernumerary ones or having lost one or more of them in an accident or fight. The name may also have been acquired as the result of some irrecoverable anecdote. The name has many variant spellings which include FINGER, FINGERMAN, FINGHERMAN, FINGERREICH and FINGERYK. Surnames are divided into four categories, from occupations, nicknames, baptismal and locational. All the main types of these are found in German-speaking areas, and names derived from occupations and from nicknames are particularly common. A number of these are Jewish. Patronymic surnames are derived from vernacular Germanic given names, often honouring Christian saints. Regional and ethnic names are also common. The German preposition 'von (from) or 'of', used with habitation names, is taken as a mark of aristocracy, and usually denoted proprietorship of the village or estate from where they came. Some members of the nobility affected the form VON UND ZU with their titles. In eastern Germany there was a heavy influence both from and on neighbouring Slavonic languages. Many Prussian surnames are of Slavonic origin. A notable member of the name mentions Godfrey FINGER (originally Gottfried) 1685-1717, the Czech composer, born in Olomuc. He went to England about the year 1685, where he became a musician at the court of James II. He wrote a number of instrumental works for flutes and violins, and composed incidental music for plays of others. He left England in 1701, because, we are told of xenophobic prejudice against his work, and he became chamber musician to the Queen of Prussia. Because of the close relationship between the English and German languages, some Germans are able to transform their names to the English form just by dropping a single letter. Many Germans have re-spelt their names in America. After the start of the first World War, Germans in great numbers Anglicized their names in an effort to remove all doubt as to their patriotism. Afterwards some changed back, and then during World War II the problem became acute once more, and the changing started all over again, although not with as much intensity. Many immigrants from Germany settled in Pennsylvania.
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