This interesting surname is of medieval German origin, and is an occupational name for a miller or flour merchant. The surname derives from an agent derivative of the Middle High German "mel" (Old High German "melo"), meaning flour. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname was first recorded in Germany in the early 14th Century (see below), and one Peter Melber was born in Eger, Germany, in 1395. The surname may also be found as Melber, Mohlber(t) and Mehl(mann). Recordings of the surname from German Church Registers include: the marriage of Hans Melbert and Wandula Schubert, which took place on January 28th 1567, at Hohebach, Jagstkreis, Wuertt; the marriage of Alexander Melbert and Appollonia Lang, which took place on February 28th 1629, at Rengershausen, Jagstkreis, Wuertt; and the marriage of Balthasar Melbert and Margaretha Hardtman, on August 30th 1650, at Krautheim, Masbach, Baden. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family depicts an azure fess charged with a gold rose on a silver shield, the Crest being the profile of a man issuing, clothed in garments of silver, belted and buttoned azure, holding on his shoulder, a silver hoe embattled gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter Melwer, which was dated 1304, in the "Records of Worms", Germany, during the reign of Albert 1, Habsburg Emperor, 1298 - 1308. 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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