This surname of WACHTLER is of four-fold origin. It was a German nickname for a timorous or stupid person, derived from the German word WACHTEL. It is also an Ashkenazic Jewish name taken from this word or the Yiddish VAKHTL (quail). The name was supposedly adopted in reference to the quails miraculously provided for the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus. 16:13) but the name is more likely to be one of the large number of Jewish ornamental names derived from words for animals and birds. In some cases the name may also have been an occupational name for a watchman. It was also a Czechoslovakian name derived from the given name VACLAV, rendered in Old Czech as VECESLAV. The name was borne by a tenth century duke of Bohemia who fought against a revival of paganism in his territory and after his death became patron saint of Bohemia. The modern state of Czechoslovakia is going through a transitional phase as a result of the fall of the Iron Curtain. Its various regions encompassed the medieval provinces of Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia. The first two of these, where the language properly called Czech is spoken, were heavily subject to German cultural and linguistic influence from the Middle Ages onwards, being administratively a Crownland of Austria for much of the time until independence in 1918. This influence is reflected in the many Czech surnames derived from German, both from given names, and from vocabulary words. Occupational names are quite common in Czech as are nicknames, especially those referring to some physical feature. Many of the most common Czech surnames have the diminutive ending 'CEK', which is often found attached to these names. Other spellings include WACHTER, WACHTMAN and WACHTMANN. Elizabeth WAECHTER was born on the 11th October, 1911. She was an Educator and her appointments have included Director of the Pearl Buck School for Retarded Children (1953); Instructor at the School of Education at the University of Oregon, and she was the co-author of 'Schools for the very Young'. Heinrich Hormuth WAECHTER, born on the 2nd October, 1907 was an Architect. His appointments have included Associated Professor and Virginia Polytechnic Institute from 1947 until 1950; University of Oregon from 1950 until 1952. He was the co-author (with his wife) of the book mentioned above.
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