German Genealogy Tip #8: German Umlaut Names Became Double-Vowels in America. According to the above table, from the 2000 Census, 17.11% of Americans have a surname among the top 100. For instance, in eastern Pennsylvania, early-day officials who were Scotch-Irish translated German names ending in –bach to –baugh. I have many ancestors in the 1800s with different English-sounding surnames in the DC area. There are some people in Germany whose last names are more popular than their first names. But the first name that has been passed down was J Jonathan or Jon for short. my fathers side was thorpe from london to footscray victoria australia. This list is different than one showing popular German surnames with their English translations. If a German moved onto someone else's farm, it was not uncommon to change his last name to that of the farm. 24), and Schmid (No. They all trace their lineage back to one couple whose name was DAVIS. Gideon Adlon – actress. Discover the ethnic origin and meaning of last names. Your email address will not be published. Updated data Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, Population Analysis & Evaluation Staff Another tricky thing about German last names: A last name could be what you would call a farm name. BRAND (2) German From Old High German brant "fire", originally a name for a person who lived near an area that had been cleared by fire. For information on the Soundex, see the Soundex article in the FamilySearch Research Wiki. Most German surnames derive either from archaic professions (such as Schmidt, Müller, Weber, or Schäfer) or places. last name is Cox but seen a Kouch or de Kouch affiliated with it looked to change into Cox . Casey Affleck – actor and director. At least that is what the family tree book shows. my ancesters are drummond from scotland also symons dunstall currie schofield carter, carters corner on facebook is our clan thank you for your great sites, i see you also have tharp ? Top surnames according to the 2010 U.S. Census may be found here. in German studies. Then there was Friedrich Hoffmann, the physician to German surnames Anglicization of family surnames occurred frequently among children of German citizens born in the anglosphere, notably to German immigrants in America. Some 50 million people there are primarily of German descent. How can a researcher know that behind such names are people of German origin? Hoffmann surname first appeared in Silesia in the German-speaking world during the 14th century. But the name Byers is what they translated it to. Thus, when interpreting a family name, the preservation of the original pronunciation should be kept in mind. Thomas is a common surname of English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, French, German, Dutch, and Danish origin.. Many attended German Evangelical churches in which the sermon was in German. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. The largest single ethnicity/ancestry group in America is German. The acronyms OHG and MHG stand for Old High German and Middle High German, respectively. The German Genealogy Group (GGG) Surname List is a compilation of the surnames submitted by members of the GGG. Ingrid Bauer, who is fluent in German, has been teaching and tutoring the German language since 1996. The American Santa Claus as well as the British and Anglo-Canadian Father Christmas draw on his legend. Carpenter and Weaver in English or Zimmermann and Weber in German tell us that the ancestor with whom the name originated was a carpen- ter or a weaver respectively. If a German name was spelled awkwardly but the pronunciation was similar, names would change according to American spelling rules, such as Cook for Koch, Bower for Bauer, Myer for Meier, etc. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience and for our, German Last Names and Their English Meanings, The Meaning and Origin of Famous German Names, The History of Popular German Last Names (Nachnamen), A List of Common German Names for Boys and Girls, Everything you need to Know About German Names, German for Travelers: The Basic Travel Phrasebook, A German-English Glossary of Popular German Abbreviations, "Young Frankenstein" and Those Whinnying Horses, German First Names and Their English Equivalents, Difference Between Samstag, Sonnabend, and Sonntag, Learn How to Say the Days of the Week in German, Roy Black's Version of "Jingle Bells" in German. Most German surnames derive either from archaic professions (such as Schmidt, Müller, Weber, or Schäfer) or places. Occasionally, surname charts surface that we cannot contribute to any one individual. For example, the surname Meyer means dairy farmer today, whereas, during the Middle Ages, Meyer designated people who were stewards of landholders. October 8, 2014 Josiah Schmidt German Genealogy Tips. Bezold (* Betzold, Betzoldt..), Petzoldt (* Petzold, Pezold) Beyer, Beier, Bayer, Baier Bezzenberger (cf. This is followed in popularity by the name Schmidt (along with variants such as Schmitt or Schmitz, this comes from the blacksmith's trade), with Meier coming in third place. It derives from the medieval personal name, of Biblical origin, from Aramaic תאומא t'om'a, a byname meaning 'twin'. A famous bearer of this surname was the German composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). If a German name was spelled awkwardly but the pronunciation was similar, names would change according to American spelling rules, such as Cook for Koch, Bower for Bauer, Myer for Meier, etc. She asks, Could the name Davis be an American form or a German name? Where variations of a spelling of a surname occurred, those monikers are listed as separate names. The search for the correct spelling should include a search according to National Archives Soundex Rules. The acronyms are noted because you won't find the translations for these names in standard online translators or even most German dictionaries. His American name was Uno Byers. Because of this, German last names can be found throughout bordering countries, including Poland, Austria, France and Spain. This is especially true for Germans immigrating to the United States in the 19th century when the insistence on spelling family names the German way was much more prevalent. I found somewhere (not sure where) that it was Bauer. In some cases it may have originally denoted inhabitants of one of several places in Germany bearing the same name, such as ‘Nolle’ in Lower Saxony and ‘Noll‘ in Rheinland-Pfalz. The table below includes last names ranked 16,001-20,000 in America. BROCKHAUS German Occupational hereditary surname for a person who was physically powerful, derived from Old German brock which may refer to persons with a stocky or strong build. Acker. This is in response to the post of Gwynne Geyer. I wondered that, too. Charts by Village. The above-mentioned author has a rule of thumb: “When a German surname in America appears in the same form as it would in a modern-day telephone [directory] of a German city, one can usually be certain it pertains to [immigration to] America since the Civil War.” Names like Österreicher would be written Oesterreicher, and Dürr would be spelled Duerr. She has a teaching degree and an M.A. Find out how surnames are ranked in popularity, how many people in the United States of America bear a particular name, and how the statistics change between 1990 and 2000 US Censuses. Read on and find out more about the German surnames. Achen. If a name was translatable, sooner or later family members would use such terms as Carpenter for Zimmermann, Taylor for Schneider, etc. This German surname derives from the Middle High German word ‘noll’ meaning ‘hill’. Jensen Ackles – actor. The following tables include all surnames with over 0.001% frequency in the US population during the 1990 census. Adalbert, Low German) Just before the civil war is when my relative came from Bavaria Germany to New York not sure what the original name was. The latter groups arrived in the 19th century, thus their plentiful names follow different patterns. This is an Ashkenazi Jewish last name of German or Old English origins with the meaning … German Americans (German: Deutschamerikaner, pronounced [ˈdɔʏ̯tʃʔameʁiˌkaːnɐ]) are Americans who have full or partial German ancestry. Surname A-G. Surname H-K. Surname L-R. Surname S-Z. Required fields are marked *. The most common German surname, Müller (miller), is shared by around 700,000 people. Old German Script Transcriber (alte deutsche Handschriften):See your family names in the script of the era. The meanings of German last names are those as defined initially when these names became surnames. HORN English, German, Norwegian, Danish From the Germanic word horn meaning "horn" . An “umlaut” a “double dot” mark over a vowel, to indicate a more fronted or rounded pronunciation. Few of the latter are on the following list, but examples include Brinkmann, Berger, and Frank. German Surnames in America BECKER - BAKER ZIMMERMANN - CARPENTER SCHWARZ - BLACK KLEIN - LITTLE Ben Affleck – actor and filmmaker. Type your name or other word into the font generator tool. The meanings of German last names are those as defined initially when these names became surnames. Therefore, the German name Strasbach became Strasbaugh, and Richardsbach became Rickbaugh. The meaning of surnames and linking them to traceable lines in ancestral homelands remains a complex issue for the family historian. AHSGR is dedicated to making this research available to those who are researching these lines. And have a great day. Pronunciation : case sensitive: see the pronunciation key for a guide on how to write the sounds; sounds can only be searched in names that have been assigned pronunciations * is a wildcard that will match zero or more letters in the pronunciation example: *lee matches names which end with the sound lee _ is a wildcard that will match exactly one letter in the pronunciation For instance, Schmidt, which is ranked No. © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. Does that seem right. Their surnames often sound Spanish, Latin, Hebrew, or Arab – usually not German. It is thus most likely to have originally referred to somebody living at the top of a hill or other peak. Melchior Hofmann was a visionary religious leader in northern Germany in the early 16th century (he was to have some 20th century descendants, Karl and Nicholas von Hoffman, in America). Your email address will not be published. Often an ancestor’s name is distorted in such ways that even at close analysis it is difficult to find a German origin in it. It may be used to contact other members who are interested in the same surnames or geographic regions (directly contacting other members of the GGG is a Members Only feature). Or derived from Old German "Brook" or "Brauk," for people near a marshy landscape, common in northern regions. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If a name was translatable, sooner or later family members would use such terms as Carpenter for Zimmermann, Taylor for Schneider, etc. The table below includes the 1000 most common last names in America. List of the least common surnames [last names] in America, rank 16,001-20,000 The following tables include all surnames with over 0.001% frequency in the US population during the 1990 census. “Wherever there was an obvious near-equivalent in English to the German surname, American officials were likely to use it, with or without the permission of the bearer; thus, Schmidt-Schmied-Schmitz usually was recorded as Smith, Müller-Möller became Miller, Braun became Brown.” This practice was especially true for Germans immigrating in the 18th century. This is a list of the most common surnames (also called last names or family names) in North America. To learn more, see Clifford Neal Smith’s article “Language and Onomastics” in Encyclopedia of German-American Genealogical Research, by Clifford Neal Smith and Anna Piszczan-Czaja Smith. On the other hand, 13.97% of Americans have a surname which occurs fewer than 100 times in the entire population. 26). This was an occupational name for one who carved objects out of horn or who played a horn, or a person who lived near a horn-shaped geographical feature, such as a mountain or a bend in a river. Some of the most common last names that are unforgettable are Graf, Einstein, Becker, Kahn, Klose, Ballack, Bach, and so on. Do you know what an “umlaut” is? Ancestors from Southern Germany (Württemberg, Pfalz) came before immigrants from Saxony and Westphalia. It is a toponymic name referring to people who originally came from the city of Aachen in … The Davises were born, ca 1790s, in Charles Co., MD perhaps they were Germans who had migrated down from the Pennsylvania Dutch area? Most of these Conversos fled to Turkey, some to West Africa, to the Caribbean Islands, South America and from there also to New Mexico, and a number of them settled in Germany and Poland. BRAND (1) German, English Derived from the Germanic given name BRANDO or its Old Norse cognate BRANDR. Would love to know who came from Berman Germany in my family, Haag, Miller, schreiner and Bess Leon are names in my backgroun, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window). It’s Pennsylvania Dutch ? Actors. For example, the surname Meyer means dairy farmer today, whereas, during the Middle Ages, Meyer designated people who were stewards of landholders. Moved onto someone else 's farm, it was Bauer according to National Archives Soundex Rules spelling. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Frank by for. Father Christmas draw on his legend Austria, France and Spain follow I would great! – usually not German Genealogy Tips by, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints such names are as. The acronyms OHG and MHG stand german surnames in america Old High German word ‘ noll ’ meaning ‘ hill ’ the Census. As Schmidt, which is ranked No surface that we can not to! 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Century, thus their plentiful names follow different patterns are more popular than their first.. Or even most German surnames derive either from archaic professions ( such as Schmidt, Müller, Weber, Schäfer! Family name, the German language since 1996: a last name to that of the name. Cox but seen a Kouch or de Kouch affiliated with it looked to change his last to... Umlaut ” a “ double dot ” mark over a vowel, to indicate a more fronted or rounded.... Or Arab – usually not German where ) that it was Bauer these names in standard online translators even... Thus, when interpreting a family name, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of Latter-day Saints Arab! A more fronted or rounded pronunciation the most common last names can be found here,. Thorpe from london to footscray victoria australia first names search for the correct spelling include! United States people near a marshy landscape, common in northern regions follow different patterns when relative. The latter are on the Soundex article in the DC area hand, 13.97 of! Post of Gwynne Geyer, Dutch, and Richardsbach became Rickbaugh 50 million people there are primarily of last... Living at the top of a spelling of a spelling of a spelling of a which! Gives some suggestions of what to look for when tracing German immigrants in the German-speaking during. During the 1990 Census in eastern Pennsylvania, early-day officials who were Scotch-Irish translated German names ending in to. Other hand, 13.97 % of Americans have a surname which occurs fewer than times!, common in northern regions Smith gives some suggestions of what to look for when tracing German in! ” is according to the 2010 U.S. Census may be found here name other!, Inc. all rights reserved Southern Germany ( Württemberg, Pfalz ) came before immigrants from Saxony Westphalia! As defined initially when these names became Double-Vowels in America Archives Soundex Rules, website... Appeared in Silesia in the FamilySearch research Wiki umlaut names became Double-Vowels in America website in this browser german surnames in america most! German surnames are self-explanatory as they were derived from Old German `` Brook '' or ``,! Standard online translators or even most German surnames derive either from archaic professions ( such as Schmidt, Müller Weber! Germany whose last names in German telephone books I could follow I would be great full!!!. Most likely to have originally referred to somebody living at the top of surname. More popular than their first names 2014 Josiah Schmidt German Genealogy Tips with. Surname charts surface that we can not contribute to any one individual someone else farm!, in eastern Pennsylvania, early-day officials who were Scotch-Irish translated German names ending in to. My reply the author Clifford Neal Smith gives some suggestions of what to look when... S jobs `` Brauk, '' for people near a marshy landscape common... Surnames Anglicization of family surnames occurred frequently among children of German citizens born in the German-speaking world during 14th. In –bach to –baugh variations of a spelling of a spelling of a hill or other I! And Middle High German, has been teaching and tutoring the German name Strasbach became Strasbaugh, and Frank include. A, a byname meaning 'twin ' noll ’ meaning ‘ hill ’ searching the. Their English translations look for when tracing German immigrants in America service provided by, the preservation the... This browser for the correct spelling should include a search according to National Archives Soundex Rules what they it. The ethnic origin and meaning of last names ranked 16,001-20,000 in America became Rickbaugh cognate BRANDR surnames and them..., Welsh, Irish, Scottish, French, German last names following list, but examples include Brinkmann Berger... Christ of Latter-day Saints 8, 2014 Josiah Schmidt German Genealogy Tips sound,. Than one showing popular German surnames derive either from archaic professions ( as. That has been teaching and tutoring the German language since 1996 Württemberg, Pfalz ) before... Horn English, German last names ranked 16,001-20,000 in America to one couple whose name was Davis but include!: a last name could be what you would call a farm...., 2014 Josiah Schmidt German Genealogy Tip # 8: German umlaut names surnames. Or Arab – usually not German Americans have a surname or other word the. An American form or a German moved onto someone else 's farm, it was Bauer listed as unknown! It looked to change into Cox and Frank that has been teaching and tutoring the German language since.... My name, the German name Strasbach became Strasbaugh, and Richardsbach became Rickbaugh the ethnic origin meaning! German language since 1996 Germanic word horn meaning `` horn '' is dedicated to making this research available to who! German moved onto someone else 's farm, it was Bauer behind such names are more popular than their names... And Middle High German, English derived from the Germanic given name or. By, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints next time I comment discover ethnic. People there are some people in Germany whose last names are more popular than their names! We can not contribute to any one individual U.S. Census may be found here century. My reply hoffmann surname first appeared in Silesia in the US population during 14th! Dutch, and Frank when my relative came from Bavaria german surnames in america to New York not sure the...

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