The surname of RESER is of German origin a name meaning the descendant of Risi. The name was also locational 'the dweller in or near a thicket'. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. There are many variant spellings of the name which include REISNER and RISNER, REISS and RIESINGER. The name was also used by Ashkenazic Jewish people, perhaps used as a metonymic occupational name for a dealer in rice. The name is also spelt REIS, REISMAN, REISNER, and REISMANN. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. 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. A notable of the name was George Andrew REISNER (1867-1942) American Egyptologist, born in Indianapolis. A Harvard law graduate, he studied Egyptology in Berlin, returning to Harvard, first as assistant professor (1905-14) and later (1914-42) as professor, of Egyptology.
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