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There are several words in German to describe a cobbler or shoe maker including Schuh, Schuster and Schubert, as well as the popular Schumacher. All are loosely based upon a pre 7th century High german word 'schuoch' plus the variouis suffix such as 'wurte' or 'macher' or 'mann'. What is certain is that the name is recorded in very many forms including Schuoch, Schbuser, Schubart, Schubert, Schubbert, Schubort, Schuckert, Schuhose, Schukraft, Schuhler, Schumann, Schumeier, the Polish Szubert, and the Czech Subrt. Like many names of fame it has modest beginings but in the highly skilled guilds of the medieval period, shoe making was considered both essential and only available as a trade to those prepared to serve a long apprenticeship of at least seven years. Occupational surnames were probably the first to be created in about the 12th century, but they were not originally hereditary. There are many examples of occupational surnames where the son later took a wholly different occupation to the father. This lead to such 'identifications' as Heinrich Schneider filius Schuh, or loosely Heinrich the tailor, the son of the shoe maker. The next generation if there was one, could then choose between either Schuh or Schneider, or perhaps if the occupation changed again, take something quite different to both! Only after the 15th century did names become wholly hereditary, and then usually as a result of taxation, as the authorities insisted on continuous 'family' names. In this case early examples of the surname recording include Richardus Schumacher of Konstanz in 1276, Haunold Schuheler of Nierderneusiedel in 1339, and Apel Schuwurt, a burger of Wurzberg in 1435. Later recordings are those of Gregor Schubert of Striegau in 1552, and Christian Schubart of Nurnberg (1739 - 1791).
Recorded in the spellings of Parkins, Perkins, and the rare Purkins, this ancient surname is medieval English, but of Old French and ultimately Greek origins. It is a patronymic from the personal name 'Piers or Pierre' through the later Peter or Peterkin. Introduced into Britain at the Norman Invasion of 1066, and also by the Crusaders of the 12th century on their return from the Holy Land, it consists of the basic 'Per or Par' with the two additive diminutives, 'kin', indicating close relationship, such as son, or nephew, and the plural 's', a shortened form of 'son'. In its full length it is often recorded as 'Parkinson' and less so as 'Perkinson'. There is an occasional secondary origin from the French 'parc'. As such this was an occupational surname for a keeper of royal hunting grounds, known as 'The Parks'. Early examples of the recordings include Robert Parkyn of Stafford in the County Rolls of 1327, and John Perkyn of Somerset, in the Hundred Rolls of 1380. Later recordings included John Perkins who married Penelope Vaughan at the famous church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, London, England, on March 24th 1599, and Sir William Perkins (also spelt Parkyns) who was executed on Tower Hill in 1696, for planning to assassinate King William 111 of Orange and England. The first of the name into America was James Perkyns, aged 42, who sailed from London to the colony of Virginea on January 2nd 1634 in the ship 'Bonaventure'. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
This surname RICHARDS was derived from the Old German 'Ricard' a font name meaning powerful and brave. The name was introduced into England by the Norman/French during the Norman Conquest of 1066, and was usually Latinized as Ricardus in medieval documents. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book of 1086. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) it became a general practice amongst all people. Early records of the name mention Ricard (without surname) listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Ada...