Recorded in many spellings including Scheuer, Schreier, Schreur, Schreurs, Scherer, Schreur, Scheurers, Schreyer, and others, this is a surname of early Germanic origins. It dates from the 13th century, and was job descriptive for a town crier or possibly the burgher responsible for the operation of the local tithe barn. The simularity of name spellings suggests that the same man may have done both jobs. The tithe payments, being one tenth of annual produce, were important sources of income paid mainly by farmers and small holders, and at a time in history when business activities were increasing, but 'money' was in short supply. History tends to regard tithes as payment to the church, but they were just as often made as legal payments between individuals and secular land owners, which included the state itself. The study of early spelling and recording of surnames is a lottery, in that relatively few records survive from before the 16th century. This is partly because not until the 19th century, did education, specifically reading and writing, become universal. Before that time local accents were very thick, and only about 5% of the public, could do more than write their names. This problem was accentuated when emigration to the USA and Canada from Europe commenced on a large scale from about 1820, and often 'sounds like' name spellings were created at the port of entry. In this case though we have very early examples of recordings from surviving German medieval records. These include Markus Schrier of Kreigsheim, in 1317, and slightly earlier Sygbote der Scheuer zu Strasburg in 1297. A coat of arms from Austria recorded in Riestaps Armourial General (pl. 280), has the blazon of a knight in chain mail armour, set against a golden field.
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