This surname of (apparently) German origins is well recorded in the province of the Rheinland. It is occupational and the famous dictionary of German surnames 'Worterbuch der Deutschen Familiennamen' suggests that it is a variant of Kreger, Kreiger, and Kriger. These translate from the Latin 'gregorius' as describing a warrior or possibly a mercenary soldier. This may be so, but our opinion is that it is a surname in its own right and like the English 'Cryer or Crier', devolved from the French 'criere'.This word describes either a messenger or a town crier, one whose job it was to make public announcements. What is certain is that the name is very early being first recorded in German documents in the 14th century, and appearing in church registers from the 16th century. These early recordings in the name spellings of Grier, Krier and Kreir, include such examples as Maria Krier, daughter of Thomas, christened at Freundenborg, Rheinland, on December 17th 1707, whilst in the USA the name is recorded as Krayer as early as 1746. Early American recordings tend to confirm that the name was regarded as being a form of 'Cryer'. In 1886, although we do not have an exact date, Charles Krier, the son of Paul and Elizabeth, was christened at Erie, Buffalo. The blazon of the coat of arms has three black ravens on a red field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wilhelm Kreier, which was dated 1340, the charters and rolls of the town of Bregenz, Germany, during the reign of Emperor Louis 1V of the German Empire, reigned 1314 - 1347. 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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