Recorded as Bies, Pies, Piese, Piesin, Piesing, and possibly others, this is a surname of Germanic and possibly Crusader origins. It may derive from the original Greek word 'petros', meaning 'rock', and if so is one of the large group of what are now generally thought of as Christian names. These were brought from Greece and the Holy Land, during and after the famous Crusades of the 12th century. Petrus or more usually in Europe, Peter, was one of the most popular and it is estimated that over four hundred spellings are now to be found throughout Christendom. These include Pedro, Peto, Petr, Piesch, and more extraordinary forms such as Troni, Petrov and Bedrosian! The second origin is from the pre 7th century word 'pies' meaning a pest! If this is the origin it is presumably a medieval nickname for somebody who was considered by his peer group to fall into that category, although with many such names the original meaning was the exact opposite of what it seems to indicate. Early examples of recordings in surviving German church registers include Kaspar Piesch of Rawitsch in 1646, and more recently Friederich Piesing of Kruezekirche, Posen, on February 23rd 1826.
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