This very unusual and interesting surname is of Germanic origin, and is believed to be a nickname for a brave, but tragic, warrior, deriving from the Middle High German "kummer", sorrowful, woebegone, and "lowe", lion (Middle High German "lewe, louwe", Old High German "lewo, louwo"). Alternatively, Kummerlowe may be an Ashkenazic ornamental name, chosen to express suffering or grief on the part of a great or regal one. The lion, the King of beasts, takes its significance from the early Romans, and is the principal beast used as an emblem in heraldry. In later usage the lion became emblematic of Strength, Courage and Generosity. The word "kummer", in some contexts, also translates as "young, weak, small in stature", and Kummerlowe may consequently mean "lion's cub". The name may therefore have been chosen because of the association of the animal with the tribe of Judah; in the blessing of Jacob (Genesis 49:9), Judah is likened to a lion's whelp. Coats of Arms borne by the Kummer and Lowe families are recorded heraldically in Rietstap's "Armorial General"; the former depicts a black eagle (surmounted by a royal crown and bearing in the claws a sword and sceptre) on a silver shield with an azure border charged with an orle of ten gold stars. The shield is also bordered gold. The Lowe Coat of Arms is a red shield with a gold lion rampant bearing in the dexter claw a silver sword. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Carl Friedrich Kummerlow, which was dated December 22nd 1839, Sankt Georgen, Berlin Stadt, Brandenburg, Germany, during the reign of Emperor Ferdinand, 1835 - 1848. 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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