Recorded in many spellings including Lehr, Lehrer, Lerer, Lerhren, Lehrian, Lehrmann and others, this is surname of German and Askenasic medieval origins. It derives from the word 'lehr' which has two possible origins. It may describe a teacher in an elementary school, in which case it is occupational, or perhaps more likely it was originally locational for somebody who lived at a 'lehr'. This was a pre 7th century word for a marshy area. It is said that there are a number of places so named in Southern Germany, and these hamlets and farms are no doubt responsible for many of the surname holders. Locational surnames were traditionally the first to be created. They were usually given as identification either to the local estate owners, or more usually to people after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere. It was a normal practice to call such 'strangers' by the name of the place from whence they came. In this case examples of the surname recording taken from early surviving rolls and charters include: Konrad Lerer of Waldzee, Germany in 1395, Dietrich Lehr of Ennetach, Germany, on April 1st 1695, and Barbara Lehrer of Zurich, Switzerland, on September 15th 1698, when she married Hans Daenzler.
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