This early German surname was originally a personal name. It is one which dates back to the 5th century a.d., the very dawn of written history in Northern Europe. The modern surname, a term which itself is relative as recordings go back to the medieval times and the 12th century, is a short form of the original 'Amal-ric' which translates at 'work-ruler', a logical description of German people with their well known work ethic. This surname is one of a group from those ancient times whose elements reflect the ambition of people to succeed in war, occupation or religion, at a time of great uncertainty. Examples of similar modern surnames with their ancient elements include Albert (noble-bright), Aldred (noble-counsel) and Lambert (land-bright). Most of the early surnames, and surnames commenced from about the year 1100 in the 'civilised' countries of Europe, were either patronymics, or from land ownership, and often both! In this case 'Emig' was also originally recorded as Emich and Ehmig, one of the first recordings being Emicho, the bishop of Wurzburg in the year 1140, although this was clearly not a hereditary family surname. The coat of arms granted in bavaria has the blazon of a red field, charged with three red roses on a silver fess. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Bentz Emig, which was dated 1359, the charter register of the city of Stuttgart, Bavaria, during the reign of Emperor Charles 1V of the German Empire, reigned, 1347 - 1378. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.