This interesting and unusual surname, has its origins in the old German "hetzer", a hunter or tracker, from "hetze", to hunt or chase, and was originally given as an occupational name to an animal-tracker, or perhaps to a master of the hounds. The surname, under the variant spellings Hatz, Hetz, Hetzen, Hetzer etc., is particularly well recorded in Church Registers of Germany, Switzerland and Austria from the mid 16th Century. On February 17th 1569, Matthias Hetz and Margretta Bader were married in Ossingen, Zurich, Switzerland, and on January 29th 1570 the marriage of Anna Hetzen and Peter Seckel took place in Esslington, Neckarkreis, Wuertt, Germany.A Coat of Arms granted to the Hetzer family of Germany is recorded heraldically in Rietstap's "Armorial General", and depicts a talbot rampant with a golden collar on a shield divided per fess blue and black. A further Anglicized variant of the surname is recorded in the marriage of William Hatzler to Sarah Agard at St. James, Dukes Place, London on July 5th 1700. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Barbara Hatz, (marriage to Hans Steinmetz), which was dated May 2nd 1564, at Windsheim, Mittelfranken, Bayern, during the reign of Emperor Maximilian 11, known as "Habsburg Emperor", 1564 - 1576. 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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