Meaning & History
German for "tanner" or "leather dresser", which makes it an occupational German surname. This surname is common in Germany and Switzerland, as are its variants Garber and Garver. Many families with this surname in Europe were members of the Anabaptist peace sects who immigrated to America to escape the widespread persecutions which followed the Reformation. Upon arrival to America as early as the beginning of the 18th century, the original form of the Gerber surname changed spelling in some families to Kerwer, Kerper, Kerwar, Gerver and Carver.