The surname KERBER was a metonymic occupational name for a basket-maker, from the German KORB meaning basket. This name also referred to a pedlar who carried his goods around in a basket. The earliest merchants were the itinerant pedlars who carried their stock of goods strapped to their backs. They called upon castles, manor houses and cottages. They often congregated at the church on Sundays to exhibit their wares. The king exercised the power of licensing the right to hold a fair or market which was profitable to the lord and trader alike. The more established traders were attracted to the larger cities, where they grew wealthy and became respected citizens. There were many traders and merchants during medieval times because usually the man who made the article or grew the crop was the dealer. 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. The name has many variant spellings, which include KORBER, KORBLER, KERBLER, KREBER, KORBER, KORFF and KORFMAN. 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. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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