This German, English and French surname of KRISCH was originally derived from the Old French given name CHRISTIAN, and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form CHRISTIANUS meaning 'follower of Christ'. It was a derivative of the Greek word KHRISTOS meaning 'to anoint'. This male given name was introduced into England following the Norman Conquest of 1066, especially by Breton settlers. It was also used in the same form as a female name, and in some cases the name may be metonymic in origin. 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. It is the surname of a family first recorded in the Isle of Man, with John McCrysten, born about 1368. His many descendants included Fletcher Christian (1764-93) who led the mutiny on HMS Bounty in 1787. 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. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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