Recorded as Deck, Decke, Decker, Deckert, Deckler, Deckmann, Deke, Dekke, Docker, Dechwerth, Deckwarth, Tecker (German), Dekker (Dutch), De Decker (Flemish), Dekownik and Dekeuninck (Polish and Slav), Deckers (German), Dehkkers (Dutch) and others, this is an international occupational surname. It can be said to originate from the Old High German (pre 7th century) word 'decken' meaning a covering, and as such in its true original form described a thatcher or roofer, or possibly a manufacturer of blankets and matting. In modern German the word 'decke' has the twin meaning of either a ceiling or a blanket according to the sense in which it is used. Occupational surnames were amongst the earliest to be created in about the 13th century, however they only became hereditary when a son or sometimes a grandson, followed the father into the same line of business. Early examples of recordings are mainly German because Germany even though it was divided into some eighty states, was the first continental country to keep proper registration records. Other countries particularly those which much later fell under the Communist regimes, often destroyed earlier records, or simply never bother to keep them properly, or they became part of the secret police apparatus. In this case early recordings include Ulricus Deckere of Strasburg in 1251, and Michael Deckwerth, the Burger of Gollitz in 1662.
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