The German surname of WEISNER is a nickname for someone with white-hair or a pale complexion. In some cases the name may have been a medieval given name 'the son of HWITA'. Surnames which were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have the same meaning in many languages. The court of Charlemagne (Charles the Great, king of the Franks (742-814) was Christian and Latin speaking), the vernacular was the Frankish dialect of Old High German, and the personal names in use were Germanic and vernacular. These names were adopted in many parts of northwest Europe, particularly among the noble ruling classes. Hereditary surnames were found in Germany in the second half of the 12th century - a little later than in England and France. It was about the 16th century that they became stabilized. Other spellings of the name include WEISZ, WESSADLER (white eagle), WEISSBAUM, WEISBOM, WAISSBAUM (white tree), WEISBONE (white bone), WEISENBREM (white eyebrow), WEISSBRUN (white brown) and WEISSBURG (white town), to name but a few. A notable of the name was Victor WEISZ (Vicky), the German-born, British political cartoonist, born in Berlin, of Hungarian-Jewish extraction. He emigrated to Britain in 1935, worked with the 'News Chronicle', the 'Daily Mirror', the 'New Statesman' and the 'Evening Standard', and established himself as the outstanding left-wing political cartoonist of the period. He published collections of his work, including 'Vicky's World' (1959) and 'Home and Abroad' (1964). German or Teutonic heraldry extended its sphere of influence over central Europe and spread into Scandinavia. It is most notable for its design and treatment of crests, most of which reflect the arms in the charge or tinctures (colours) or both, which is unknown in British heraldry. Teutonic Europe assembled many arms on a single shield, each bearing its corresponding crest on a helmet. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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