Schmerse (surname)

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Surname - Origin and Meaning

The surname Schmerse is first mentioned in 1543 when it appears in a tax list (tax for war against Turks) of the village Kernein near Landsberg (Warthe) in Neumark. This village about 1260 had been beset with settlers by Cistercians of Monastery Paradies which was a filiation of Monastery Lehnin in Havelland region close to Berlin. Among the posession of Lehnin was the village Schmergow, possible place of origin and name donor of a new settler. The name is derived from the Slav word smardz which stands for the edible morel. The difference from smar(d)z- to schmers- is easily explained: a vowel in front of letter r is subject to extensive change. The appropriate Slav root smr- appears in Old Sorbic as smer-, in New Sorbic and Russian as smor- and in Polish as smar-.

As an anecdote may be mentioned that the word schmerse (and also schmese) is also present in Bargoensch (Bargunsch), a westphalian gibberish (thieves' cant), where it means trousers (or suit). A surname has not been derived from this word.

Variants of the Name

Another variant is a spelling ending with -ow, but there is no genealogical relationship.

Geographical Distribution


number of born shown in each half of century


Schmerse over centuries have almost all been farmers and without any celebrities; perhaps worth mentioning is

  • Schmerse, Carl David, * 1797, † abt 1860, wealthy miller at Küstrin

Geographical Designations


  • Schmerse, Dr. Gerd C.: Family Histoty Schmerse from Neumark, published by Grüneberg Lenzen 2002, ISBN 3-9808246-1-6

Genealogical Researchers


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