The surname of SCHAUER was a German occupational name for an official inspector, for example the official overseer of a market. The name was derived from the Old German word SCHOUWER, meaning 'to look, to inspect'. The name was also used by Western Ashkenazic Jewish people, an ornamental name from a western Yiddish pronunciation of the given name Joseph, because the biblical character of this name is compared to an ox 'His glory is like the firstling of his bullock'. In the Book of Genesis, Joseph is the favourite son of Jacob, who is sold into slavery by his brothers, but rises to become a leading minister in Egypt. In the New Testament Joseph is the husband of the Virgin Mary. The name is also spelt SCHAUERT, SCHAUBER, SCHORR, SHOR, SCHORMAN, SZOR, SCHORY and SHORI. When traditional Jews were forced to take family names by the local bureaucracy, it was an obligation imposed from outside traditional society, and people often took the names playfully and let their imaginations run wild by choosing names which corresponded to nothing real in their world. No one alive today can remember the times when Jews took or were given family names (for most Ashkenazim this was the end of the 18th century or the beginning of the 19th) although many remember names being changed after emigration to other countries, such as the United States and Israel in recent years. 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. 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.
In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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