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The honorable name 

The name Scherer is of oldest German origin and dates back as far as the German language  because the name is also an honorable profession since ancient times - namely the trade of taking the wool off a sheep. For english speaking SCHERERs: It is synonymous with - shearer -  the ancient traditional profession even mentioned in the bible. ( ) Therefore the name is as common as others that have been derived from trades like Smith and Miller.  

The origin of the name leads back to German settled areas where sheep were raised, the northern German plains (Heide) as well as the southern mountainous areas of German lands as Suebia (Schwaben) and Bavaria (Bayern) including at that time areas that became later Austria and Switzerland. In all those areas were at historic time substantial  sheep operations and being a wandering shepard was a honorable profession for centuries. All these thousands of sheep requiered  a SCHERER to cut the fleece every year and in the traditional handing down of the trade - the name was born, when it became necessary to write it up - for birth and death registration and marriages and so on, a task in the beginning mainly done by the church.  So the name can be found in the oldest documents of that kind as a family name. 

The various dialects in these German areas sometimes lead to different spelling for the name, so the  origin of such "slang" spelled names  can be traced to a certain area. For all the others that  have the "correct - high German" dictionary spelling - SCHERER - the finding of origin depends heavily on other clues, since many regions of German speaking areas all over Europe have their particular strain of SCHERERs, which were unified by their  trade (name) only  and are not necessarily related.  

What a multitude of SCHERERs even left the German homelands is underlined by the fact that  SCHERER is one of the 300 most common names in the United States of America. In fact there is nearly in every  larger phone directory (cities) of North America a SCHERER entry.  
And of course there are still thousands of SCHERERs  in all parts of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. The online phone directory for Germany alone gives currently 11 297 entries for the name SCHERER (TELE-Auskunft  Dec. 1997)           

to be continued

© 1997 Wolfgang W. Scherer


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