This surname of KANNER is a German and Ashkenazic Jewish occupational name for a maker of metal vessels. The name was derived from the German word KANNENGIESSER, literally meaning 'can pourer', one who poured metal alloy into a mould to make weapons or cans. It was in the cities and large towns that the various workers in metal of one kind or another developed. Protected and matured by the craft guilds they formed in the Middle Ages, they rose in rank above the peasants in the country districts. They were considered to be highly skilled craftsmen. Men did not hesitate to engage in fierce combat during this time, and they desired as much armour and strong weapons as possible. The name is also spelt KANNEGIESSER, KANNEG and KANNEGIETER. Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identify individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. Heraldry arrived in America with the coming of the Spanish. English heraldry predominated in North America, the first grant being in l586 to the City and Corporation of Ralegh in Virginia, relating to the first English Settlement on Roanoke Island, now situated in North Carolina. Heraldry was mostly dormant in North America until l694, when the first North American resident, Francis Nicholson, received a grant of Arms. Soon after, the University (the College of William and Mary) received its own grant. Not until the present century has an agreement been reached whereby the English Kings of Arms were allowed to issue grants of honorary armorial bearings to American citizens able to prove male-line descent from a British subject.
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