Recorded in various spellings including Kaiser (German), De Keyser, Keyser (Dutch and Flemish), Keyser, Cayser, Kaysor, Caysor, Cayzer, and Cassar (English). this is a surname odf Roman origins. It derives from the Roman imperial title Caesar, which was originally a prominent clan or family name. Folk etymology in classical times associated the name with the word "caesaries", meaning a head of hair, but the orgin is probably Etruscan and possibly a version of the later name Charles. Since the medieval period the word has been adopted as a generic title for imperial rulers. Curiously the surname itself rather than the title, was probably used first as a nickname, perhaps for someone with an imperious manner, or as an actors name for one who played the part of an emperor in the famous travelling theatres of the medieval theatres. It has been recorded for at least eight centuries, making it one of the oldest surnames. Early examples taken from the church records of the medieval period include: Henry le Caisere, in the Pipe Rolls of Warwickshire, England, in 1172, and Jacob Keyser of Worms, in the charters of the city in 1279. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop," often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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