This is a truly ancient German surname, and given that continental recordings are usually far behind those of the U K in particular, it a pleasure to be able to report that in this case we have supporting evidence of the use of the surname at least as far back as the 14th century. It is occupational and describes a 'linen weaver', the derivation being from the pre 7th century 'lin-weber'. The trade was also recorded in England probably as a result of Anglo-Saxon influence as 'Webber' (male) and 'Webster' (female). Occupational surnames were not usually hereditary, unless of course the son followed the fathers occupation. In the early days of recordings this could lead to some interesting examples of surnames when a man or woman could be known by two names, that of his father and that of his own occupation or perhaps place of residence. In this case early German charter recordings include Diderick Lynenwevere of Oldenburg in the year 1472, and Johannes Leinweber of Wien in 1569. There are several spellings of the surname including Leineweber, Leinweber, Leinenweber, Linenewewer, etc. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johan dictus Lynenwebir, which was dated 1374, the charters of the state of Hesse, Germany, during the reign of Emperor Charles 1V of the German Empire, 1347 - 1385. 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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