Kaiser

Kaiser - what does Kaiser surname mean?

This famous surname of originally Roman origin, is recorded in at least forty spelling variations. These include Kaiser, Cayser, Keyser, Cayzer, de Keyser, Keijser, Cisar, Cisec, Csaszar, Cesaric, Kezourec, Tsaryov, Tsarvic, and many others. Although recorded in every European country, the surname is primarily associated with Germany, in that all modern forms are or were, creations from the Old High German 7th century `keisar`. This is a derivation from the Roman imperial title `Caesar`, meaning the Emperor. In Ancient Rome, from the time of Julius Caesar, `Caesar` was both a status title, and confusingly, a clan or family name. As such the latter could lay claim to being the very first of all hereditary surnames. The medieval surname was probably occupational for a theatrical player who played the part of an Emperor, and therefore became associated with the title, although it could be a nickname for a person with an imperious manner! It is very unlikely that anybody who holds the surname can lay any claim to being related to Julius Caesar, because no confirming records exist. The earliest examples of the surname recording are to be found in England, the first country to have true bureaucracy. These include William le Keiser, in the register of the abbey of Oseney, Oxford, in the year 1195, and Simon le Cayser, of the city of Oxford, in the Hundred Rolls of 1273. The famous medieval book `Piers Plowman`, includes the passage `Kynges and Knyghtes, Kaysers and Popes, all to power ascrybe`. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry le Caisere. which was dated 1172, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Warwickshire, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, known as `The builder of churches`, 1154 - 1189.

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