Recorded in many forms including the base forms of Bauer, Baur, and Pauer, and the compounds such as Bauermann, meaning the servant of Bauer, Bauermeister and Burmaster meaning a master builder, this interesting and long-established surname is of early medieval German origin. It was originally a status name for a small farmer or free citizen, to which has been added various elements with different translations. The derivation is from the pre 7th century German "giburo" denoting an occupier of a bur, a small dwelling or cottage, this word later fused with "buwaeere", meaning to cultivate (the land). Recordings of the surname from early German registers include Anna Burenmeister of Adelberg in 1476, the birth of Andreas, son of Endres Bauer, at Arnsfeld, Chemnitz, Sachsen, in 1520, and the marriage of Andreas Bauer to Ursula Meyher in Neundorf, Chemnitz, Sachsen, on April 4th 1587. A coat of arms granted to the Bauer family of Loeben is recorded heraldically in Rietstap's "Armorial General", and reflects the surname's origins, depicting a peasant, clad in black, and holding in each hand a flail, against a gold field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johanne Bower of Greifswald, which was dated 1354, in "Die Greifswalder Familiennamen des 13/14 Jahrh", by Dr. H. Nuske. This was during the reign of Charles 1V of Luxembourg, of the Holy Roman Empire, 1347 - 1378. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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