This surname of WINGERTER is an occupational name for a producer or seller of wine, derived originally from the Old German WEIN. The name was also adopted by Ashkenazic Jews, largely recollecting the prominence of wine in the Jewish Scriptures and its use in Jewish ceremonies. It has been suggested that the surname has been adopted because of the symbolic association of the vine with the Hebrew personal name ISREAL ('they shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine) Jeremiah. 6:9, but since wine is mentioned over nine hundred times in the Jewish scriptures it is almost impossible to explain which reference there is to this name. During the Middle Ages the manufacture and fermenting of wines and ale was necessary in every small village. Ale was the people's food in liquid form, and was consumed by everybody at all times. The extreme poverty of the Franciscans when they first settled in London was noted by a writer at the time 'I have seen the brothers drink ale so sour that some would have preferred to drink water'. In early times each villager usually brewed his own drink although he often had to pay the lord of the manor for the privilege of using his equipment. In later times the manufacture of ales and wine became an important monastic industry. The name is also spelt WEINER, WEINMAN, WEINERMAN, WAINERMAN, VEINER, WEINBACH and WEINSTOCK to name but a few. A notable member of the name was Paul Felix WEINGARTNER (1863-1942) the Australian conductor and composer, born in Dalmatia. His works include operas, symphonies and 'Uber das Dirigieren' (1895). 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. A great number of immigrants from Germany settled in Pennsylvania. 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.
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