Surname:Schönauer

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Schönauer Origins

According to Answer.com the name Schönauer is a habitational name for someone from any of several places called Schönau. The House of Names indicates the name is a toponymic local name deriving from a feature of the physical geography where the original bearer lived or held land. In this case, it is derived from the German words schoene which means "beautiful," and auer which means "from the meadow."

The Schönauer name traces back to the mid-1500s and originates in the Jura Mountain region of Switzerland. Family members were involved in the Protestant Reformation and became followers of Ulrich Zwingli. Later generations of the family followed the Anabaptist teachings after its doctrinal break from Zwingli. By the time of the Schönauer family's emigration to Pennsylvania in the mid-1700s, those that immigrated in 1744 and 1751 and settled in Lancaster County most closely followed the Mennonite faith, and the other family branch that immigrated in 1754 and made their home in Berks County adhered to Lutheran doctrine.

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Commercial Uses of Name

Schönauer Apfel Schnapps is a delightful mix of crisp, clean apple juice and the finest doubles distilled grain spirits, best enjoyed chilled as a shot, on the rocks with club soda, or in a variety of other mixed drinks. It is produced from wheat and rye and then blended with the juices of apples from "Altes Land," one of the best known fruit growing areas of Germany. Retails in the U.S. for about $24.00.


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The Mannlicher-Schönauer line of pistols and rifles were a very popular weapons in the first half of the 20th century, and were used by the Germans during World War I and World War II. During World War I Austria and Greece also used these rifles, Austria having sequestered them in 1914, and Greece having them returned as war reparations ater the war. Some have called the Mannlicher-Schoenauer "The World's Finest Rifle" ever made. During the 1970s the increased cost in manufacturing the Mannlicher-Schoenauer rifle drove the retail price above what the average shooter could afford. The line was redesigned for more economical manufacture, and the newer models are no longer the same quality.