The surname of MAASSEN was a Low German and Dutch baptismal name, a form of Thomas. The name is universal, originally from the popular medieval given name of biblical origin. The name was originally an Aramaic name meaning 'a twin' borne by one of the disciples of Christ, best known for his scepticism about Christ's resurrection (John 20:24-9). This disciple is stated by Eusebius, on no scriptural authority, to have borne the given name Judah. Before the Norman Conquest of 1066 the name is found only as the name of a priest or a man of the cloth. After this time it became one of the most popular christian names.It was also a topographic name for someone living on the banks of the river MAAS, which flows through Belgium and Holland. It was originally named as the MOSA, and name of apparently Celto-Ligurian origin. The name is also spelt MAAS, VERMAAS, MASI, MASO, MASSMANN, MAASCKE, MASIONIS and MAAHS. A notable member of the name was Werner H. MAAHS, born 15th January, 1927 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was a Business Executive, and his appointments included President of Chicken Delight of California Inc. (1959) and the President of the Franchise Development Corporation from 1961. He was the Chairman of the Board, Chicken Delight Eastern Incorporation. 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.
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