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BAUER Family History

This interesting and long-established surname is of early medieval German origin, and is either a status name for a small farmer or a nickname meaning "neighbour, fellow citizen". The derivation is from the German "Bauer" (Middle High German, "(ge)bur"), ultimately from the Old High German "giburo". The Middle High German word denoted an occupier of a bur, a small dwelling or cottage; hence, "neighbour, fellow citizen", but this word later fell together with the Middle High German "buwaeere", an agent noun from the Old High German "buan", to cultivate (the land), thereby denoting a peasant farmer, one who depends on either cottage industry or agricultural labour as a means of subsistence.

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