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Friday, June 2, 2017
From my maternal lineage, is the odd name is Stiffler. I have never met anyone with that last name. Are there any Stifflers still around? It first shows up as my 2nd great-grandmother, Elizabeth Stiffler. She was born either in Ohio or Pennsylvania in the mid-1800's.
This German and Ashkenazic Jewish surname of STIFFLER was an occupational name for a maker of boots, or a nickname for someone who made boots and shoes. This was an important occupation in the life of medieval Europe, and in the cities, the craftsmen were restricted by guild laws. Shoemakers who made shoes were often forbidden to mend them. This deliberate policy of protection for their members allowed only those members to fulfill their craft.
The name may also have applied to someone who shod horses, the practice of nailing iron plates or rim shoes to the hoofs of horses was in regular use during the Middle Ages.
A great number of immigrants from Germany settled in Pennsylvania. After the start of the first World War, Germans in great numbers Anglicized their names in an effort to remove all doubt as to their patriotism. Afterward, some changed back, and then during World War II the problem became acute once more, and the changing started all over again, although not with as much intensity.
It is thought that the surname originated in Swabia. The Stiffler's were instrumental in the formation of the medieval Swabian Society.
Swabia?? Back to the research.
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