This most interesting surname is of Old German origin, and is a variant of "Pauer", itself a variant of the German surname "Bauer", which was either a status name for a peasant or a nickname meaning "neighbour, fellow citizen". The derivation is from the Germanic term "Bauer", which denoted an occupier of a "bur", a small dwelling house or building. This word later fell together with the Middle High German "buwaeere" from the Old High German "buan", to cultivate, to build. Hence, the surname has two possible senses, "peasant" and "neighbour, fellow, citizen". Pauer and Paur are most popular and widespread in Bavaria and Austria. Early examples of the surname include: the marriage of Anna Pauer and Hans Resch on August 28th 1540 at Mittelfranken, Nuernberg Stadt, Bayern; the christening of Margaretha, daughter of Linhardten and Magdalena Pauer in 1542 at Oberfranken, Wunsiedel, Bayern; the christening of Agnes Paur on June 17th 1551 at Heroldsberg, Bayern; and the christening of Anna Paur on June 6th at Altenburg, Sachsen-Altenburg. Nine Coats of Arms were granted to Paur families in Bavaria, one of which depicts a silver griffin with gold wings, standing on a green mount with three peaks, holding in his paws a lily with a green stem and three silver flowers, and was granted in 1788. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Dorothea Pauer, which was dated 1534, marriage to Frantz Mueller, at Zwickau, Kirchbeig, Sachsen (now Germany), during the reign of Emperor Charles V, "Holy Roman Emperor", 1519 - 1558. 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.