This surname of WENNER is a German occupational name for a maker or seller of winnowing fans which were used to sift and separate the worthless or inferior corn. The name was derived from the Old German WANNE, and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form VANNUS. The name is also spelt WANNAMAKER and WENNMAKER. 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. 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. Axel Leonard WENNER-GREN (1881-1961) was the Swedish financier and industrialist. He founded Electrolux in 1919, undertook large-scale projects such as a holiday resort in the Bahamas, a telephone company in Mexico and in 1956 a huge development complex in British Columbia. 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.
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