This is one of the earliest German "colonist" surnames in the United States of America. In fact it pre-dates Independence, and is a true survivor of the original British rule, dating back to George 111 or even George 11 (1727 - 1760). In those days of Empire some two hundred and fifty years ago, the state of Hanover in Germany formed part of that Empire, indeed the core, as the British Monarchs were originally "the Princes of Hanover". "Hanoverians" were often encouraged to perform military service in the British Armies, one of the inducements being Land Grants in the new American Colonies. "Showalter" is not a name recorded in Germany, and therefore it is a phonetic form of some earlier surname or it is a nickname. It has been suggested that the name is a derivative of "Schulmeister" (school-master), but no link has been proven. Logic suggests that it derives from the military term "Schulter" or "Schultern", which refers to carrying or shouldering arms, in effect a soldier. What is certain is that the name has always been centered in the City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and that fundamentally the name spelling has remained unchanged. An early recording is that of Elizabeth Showalter, the daughter of David and Anne Marie (nee Heagy), who was christened at Hanover, near York, Pennsylvania, on September 5th 1812, in the year that Britain invaded the U.S.A. and captured Detroit (August 21st), during the Presidency of James Madison (1809 - 1817). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jacob Showalter, and his wife Barbara (nee Oyer), which was dated July 1st 1766, baptismal witnesses at Earl, in Lancaster, in the state of Pennsylvania, during the reign of King George 111 of the British Empire, 1760 - 1820. 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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