Recorded in a bewildering number of spellings, this is an ancient German surname. It is occupational and describes a tailor, and is with Smith or Schmit, perhaps the most popular of all occupational surnames. These spelling forms include Schroder, Schrader, Schroter, Schroeter Shroder, and Shrader, and the surname perhaps not surprisingly, is amongst the earliest to be recorded in the surviving German registers and charters. Surnames from occupations, whilst probably the first to be created, did not usually become hereditary in that age of personal skills, until or unless a son followed his father into the same line of business.If he did not, then the surname tended to die out, until perhaps revived elsewhere. In this case the surname is recorded as early as the 12th century when Rutholf Scrodir, given as being the Burgermeister of Coln (Cologne), appears in the charters in 1135 and 1150, whilst two centuries later Hans Schrader was the Burger of Osterwieck in the year 1364. The fact that these early recordings show that the people concerned were the highest civil authority in their respective cities, indicates the status held.
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