Recorded as Kretschmer, Kretzschmar, Kretchmer and Kretschmann, and cognate with Krueger and Kruger, this is a Germanic surname. Recorded in all German speaking countires including Austria, German, The Netherlands and Switzerland, it is occupational and describes a keeper of a public house, tavern or inn. Perhaps not surprisingly it is also one of the earliest of German surnames, with for instance Andreas Kreczmer being recorded in Breslau in 1384, and later Augustin Kretzshmann of Bernek in 1584. The recordings as Krueger are slightly earlier with Ludwig Crugery of Kassel being recorded in 1340, and Johan der Crugir also of Kassel in 1362. Spelling over the centuries being at best indifferent, and local accents very thick, often lead to the development of both variant forms of the same name, and in this case two quite separate and distinctive surnames, but with the same meaning. Occupational surnames whilst amongst the first to be recorded, usually did not become hereditary unless a son followed a father into the same line of business. The popularity of this name would sugggest, that it was usually a 'family business'.