Recorded in several forms including Hess, Hesse, Hesser, Hessing and Hessung, this is a famous Germanic surname. It is arguably both tribal and residential, originating from the pre 10th century a.d. It is believed to have originally described people who came from the region known as Hesse. The translation of this name is the 'hooded people', but whether this referred to people who made hoods and other garments such as coats and cloaks, or whether they habitually worse such clothing, or whether 'Hesse' is a transposed meaning, perhaps for warriors who wore a particular type of helmet like a hood, is uncertain. Most researchers have their own views, and all are different! In our view it is impossible, to ascribe with total accuracy, meanings to 'names' that were created a thousand years or more ago. In effect only those that were there at the time could possibly know with complete surety, what was actually meant. However the surname in its various forms has prospered. It is one of the earliest German surnames to be recorded anywhere, as few existed at all before the 13th century. These recordings include Godescalus Hesso of Koln in the charters of that city in the year 1180, Bentz Hessing of Magstadt, Boblingen, in 1350, and Martin Hesser of Roth, Leutkirch, in 1420.
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