This is an ancient German medieval surname. Recorded in various forms including Schiefersten, Schieferstein, and Schefersteen, this is a truly ancient German surname. There are several possible origins. It may be locational from a place called Schieferstein in Breslau, or it may be topographical, and describe a person who lived by a city or parish boundary marker stone, or even some pleasing feature in the countryside made of uneven stones. It is thought that the original village of Schieferstein was named after an ancient cromlech or burial ground, which was probably marked by crooked stones.The development is certainly from 'schief' which literally means twisted or crooked, and 'stein,' a stone. Residential surnames of this type were amongst the first to be created, as to name a person after a local natural or man-made feature was the easiest form of identification in the usually small communities of the medieval period. In this case the first recording, which is one olf the earliest surname recordings anywhere in the world, is that of Heinrich Sciverstein of Koln in the year 1170, and fifty years later, that of Conrad Scheverstein of Molehusen in 1229.
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