This is a patronymic surname which derives from the German medieval occupational word and surname "Schneid". This word itself derives from the pre 8th century "Snidden" and describes literally "one who sews" - a tailor. This relatively humble, but highly important origin, does not seem to have been a major bar to the success of the name holders, and in its various forms the name is known world-wide. In this case the name is a form of patronymic and as such was granted a Cost of Arms to Schneidau Von Ober of Unter Malsee of Germany.This is recorded on Plate 271 of "Rietstap's Armorial General", being a quartered shield, first and fourth being a gold lion on a black-field combatant, second and third, a silver-field, a fesse in blue decorated with two gold "F's" places back to back. The Crest, of a lion rising from a coronet between two wings, illustrates the ability of noble majesty to rise above other things. The surname development has included the following - Johann Christoph Schneidar who married Maria Emig at Pleuzhausen, Rheinland on April 30th 1754, and Johann Gottlieb Schneidau who married Anna Marie Philip at Danzig Stadt, West Prussia on April 17th 1842. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Rosina Schneida, which was dated December 4th 1659, christened at Marienheide, Evangelist Church, Rheinland, during the reign of Duke Frederick William of Prussia, 1640 - 1688. 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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