Derived from the old high German "Meier", the name is occupational for (originally), the village Headman, although by medieval times the meaning was Steward or Bailiff or even a tenant farmer. It is also possible that the name as "De meyer" is topographical for one who lived on an estate, and this would probably have applied to the De Meyer's of Amsterdam and Middelbourg who are recorded heraldically in Riestapps Armorial General for Europe. The early recordings include the following examples, Johan De Meyer, married Anne Lucia Van Berk, on February 19th 1693, at the town of Zuid, Leerdan, The Netherlands, in the reign of William 111 of Orange and England (1650 - 1702). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jan Jansing De Meyer, which was dated October 27th 1633, married Merrichjen Gerrils in Utrecht, The Netherlands, during the reign of King William 11 of Orange, (1620 - 1650). 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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