This most interesting and unusual surname is of early medieval German origin, and is a metonymic occupational name for a maker or user of hammers, for example in a forge, or it may have been a nickname for a particularly forceful person, from the German word "hammer", a hammer, itself from the Middle High German "hamer", Old High German "hamar", stone (hence, a hammer made of stone), plus the German "mann", Old High German "man", a man. Hammer itself is an English surname, originating as a topographical name for someone who lived by a patch of flat, low-lying alluvial land beside a stream, from the Olde English pre 7th Century "hamm" (Old High German "ham"), and the locational suffix "-er". Early recordings include: the marriage of Arret Hammerman and Annen Birrenbachs on September 3rd 1662, at Meschenich, Rheinland; the marriage of Anna and Jakob Hammerman on August 7th 1676, at Lichtel, Mergentheim, Jagstkreis, Wuertt; and the marriage of Alexander Hammerman and Ida Fingers on July 25th 1696, at Bruchl Koeln, Rheinland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes Hammerman, which was dated May 24th 1608, marriage to Jans Schopf, at Ditzingen, Neckarkreis, Wuertt (Germany), during the reign of Rudolf 11, Holy Roman Emperor, 1576 - 1612. 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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