Recorded in the spellings of Kerner and Kernermann, this is an ancient surname of Germanic origins. It derives from the pre 7th century word 'kerenere' meaning literally 'to cart', from the ancient word 'karr', which also over many centuries, provided the the relatively modern word of 'carriage'. The surname is therefore occupational for an owner of carts, an early transport contractor. Occupational surnames were amongst the first to be created, but were often not hereditary. They only became so when as often happened, the son or perhaps grandson, continued in the same job. In this case early examples taken from the very earliest of surviving rolls and registers in Germany include: Heinrich Kernar of Markdorf in the year 1278, whilst almost a century later in 1376 Johannes Kermannes was so recorded in the charters of Wollhausen.
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