Recorded in the spellings of Draaisma, Dreger, Dreher, Dreier, Dreigher, Drejer, Draijer, Draayer, and Treher, this is an ancient medieval surname of Germanic origins. The surname derives either from the pre 7th century 'drei' meaning three, which was also the name of a 13th century coin, and hence possibly a nickname for a moneyer, or it may derive from the word 'draey', meaning 'to turn', and as such was possibly occupational for a maker of 'turned' objects such as eatung utensils or furniture. The surname is recorded in its different forms in Germany, The Netherlands, and Denmark, and is also Ashkenasic. What is certain is that the first recordings are amongst the earliest of known survivors to be found anywhere on the Continent. In general surname recordings on the Continent are at least two centuries later than those of Britain. This is probably because of the endless wars and therefore the continually changing governments and regimes which have criss-crossed Europe for the past millenium, since the very beginings both of the adoption of surnames and the necessary written records. In this case examples of these early recordings taken from the appropriate and authentic rolls and charters of the city states include: Ulrich Dreger, an ironworker or blacksmith of Zell am Andelbach, in 1391, and later Othmar Deher, given as being a citizen of Friedingen, Germany, in the year 1545.
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