Reaser and Levan
Hey, since you guys did such a great job figuring out what "Fitzmayer" meant, I thought I would ask a few more questions.

REASER, my surname, I know is German in origin. Originally spelled Rieser or Reiser. I know RIESE I think means "giants"? So, am I right in guessing that REASER is some how related to RIESE? My ancestors lived in the Black Forest region of Germany before moving over to the US in the early 1700's, if you needed to know that.

LEVAN, a surname of a French family. The family was Huguenot. On census records, I have also seen that family's name written as "Levat" but I think that just might be a spelling mistake.

Thanks for any help that you guys can provide! ^___^

~ Stef
Tags:  Levan, Reaser
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Replies

You are right, REASER would be RIESER in German (probably not Reiser, which is pronounced Riser).
There is the surname RIESE in Germany, and it originally meant a tall person. But RIESER is a name of its own right. There are several possible derivations, so pick what you like:

1. From a place-name Ries (Bavaria, Austria) or Riesa (Saxony)
2. From an area called Ries (around the town of Nördlingen, O umlaut, roughly between München and Stuttgart). This one is interesting, as the name of the area is obviously taken from the "Raeti", a tribe living in the Alps in Roman times
3. From Middle High German "ris" (twig, bush, cf. German "Reisig", same word as English "reed" btw), > dweller by a bush?
4. From Middle High German "rise" (water ditch)

Andy ;—)
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Levan literally means "the winnowing fan", a device for separating wheat and chaff. It is assumed to denote someone who made these fans. The name belongs to the far north of France, but the Huguenots would no doubt have carried it to the Protestant countries of Europe as well as North America.
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