The associated coat of arms for this name are recorded in J.B Rietstaps Armorial General. Illustrated by V & H.V Rolland's. This Monumental work took 23 years to complete and 85,000 coats of Arms are included in this work. This surname of MAHR is a German occupational name for a painter, especially a painter of stained glass. The word was derived from the Old German word MALEN. The name was also adopted by Ashkenazic Jews, and was used of an artist or house-painter. The name is also spelt MAHLER, MOHLER, MEHLER and MAALER. 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. A notable member of the name was Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) the Czechoslovakian-born Austrian composer, born in Kalist. In 1875 he went to Vienna Conservatory, where he studied composition and conducting. Unsuccessful in an opera competition with the work which he later turned into the cantata 'Das Klagende Lied' he turned to conducting, reaching quickly important positions in Prague, Leipzig, Budapest and Hamburg. In 1897 he became conductor and artistic director at Vienna State Opera House, where he established the high standards for which that theatre has become famous. 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. A great number of immigrants from Germany settled in Pennsylvania. 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.
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