Meaning of the surname Mesmer.
Hello all!

I'm wondering if some of you can tell me what the surname 'Mesmer' means. I've always found that an interesting surname, and for so far I know, it's only borne by the Austrian physician Friedrich Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), who tried to treat diseases with a form of hypnotism.

Thank you in advance,

Lucille
Tags:  Mesmer
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Replies

Hi Lucille,

the name you are looking for is a German one. I found the following forms: Messner, Meßner, Mesner, Messmer, Meßmer, Mesmer.

It comes from the Middle German word "mess(e)nære" which means “sexton, sacristan, verger”. The word Mesner is still in use for a sacristan in Germany, but the expression Küster is more common. Küster is used as a surname, too.

Famous people with these names are:

Pierre Messmer *1916 (French polititian)
Joseph Messner 1893-1969 (Austrian composer and organist)
Reinhold Messner *1944 (Italian alpinist and author)
Franz Anton Mesmer 1734-1815 (doctor and theologian) - in my lexicon his first name is Franz, not Friedrich... (?)

Best regards,
Judith

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What does the name Messner mean and where does it come from?
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Judith, thank you very, very much for your answer and for all the efforts you've made! :-) You're my hero! ;-) *grin*

About Friedrich Anton Mesmer... it appears he must've changed his first name to Franz. For example, this site mentions that his first name is originally Friedrich:

http://www.whonamedit.com/doctor.cfm/313.html

And there are many other sites that say the same.

But anyway, thanks again! :-)

Regards,

Lucille
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