The search for the correct spelling should include a search according to National Archives Soundex Rules. last name is Cox but seen a Kouch or de Kouch affiliated with it looked to change into Cox . Many German surnames are self-explanatory as they were derived from people’s jobs. German Surnames in America BECKER - BAKER ZIMMERMANN - CARPENTER SCHWARZ - BLACK KLEIN - LITTLE The author Clifford Neal Smith gives some suggestions of what to look for when tracing German immigrants in the United States. AHSGR is dedicated to making this research available to those who are researching these lines. For instance, in eastern Pennsylvania, early-day officials who were Scotch-Irish translated German names ending in –bach to –baugh. It derives from the medieval personal name, of Biblical origin, from Aramaic תאומא t'om'a, a byname meaning 'twin'. How can a researcher know that behind such names are people of German origin? It’s Pennsylvania Dutch ? Actors. His American name was Uno Byers. The most common German surname, Müller (miller), is shared by around 700,000 people. in German studies. The acronyms are noted because you won't find the translations for these names in standard online translators or even most German dictionaries. The meaning of surnames and linking them to traceable lines in ancestral homelands remains a complex issue for the family historian. I wondered that, too. 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. Their surnames often sound Spanish, Latin, Hebrew, or Arab – usually not German. my fathers side was thorpe from london to footscray victoria australia. 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). Any ideas where it came from exactly? The meanings of German last names are those as defined initially when these names became surnames. If a name was translatable, sooner or later family members would use such terms as Carpenter for Zimmermann, Taylor for Schneider, etc. 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. Few of the latter are on the following list, but examples include Brinkmann, Berger, and Frank. On the other hand, 13.97% of Americans have a surname which occurs fewer than 100 times in the entire population. And have a great day. The table below includes last names ranked 16,001-20,000 in America. Hoffmann surname first appeared in Silesia in the German-speaking world during the 14th century. The table below includes the 1000 most common last names in America. At least that is what the family tree book shows. 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. This is an Ashkenazi Jewish last name of German or Old English origins with the meaning … Do you know what an “umlaut” is? She has a teaching degree and an M.A. October 8, 2014 Josiah Schmidt German Genealogy Tips. Ancestors from Southern Germany (Württemberg, Pfalz) came before immigrants from Saxony and Westphalia. Where variations of a spelling of a surname occurred, those monikers are listed as separate names. A famous bearer of this surname was the German composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). Thus, when interpreting a family name, the preservation of the original pronunciation should be kept in mind. Ingrid Bauer, who is fluent in German, has been teaching and tutoring the German language since 1996. For instance, Schmidt, which is ranked No. I have many ancestors in the 1800s with different English-sounding surnames in the DC area. The list was initially created by searching for the most common last names in German telephone books. Gideon Adlon – actress. Adalbert, Low German) I found somewhere (not sure where) that it was Bauer. Most German surnames derive either from archaic professions (such as Schmidt, Müller, Weber, or Schäfer) or places. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Your email address will not be published. This German surname derives from the Middle High German word ‘noll’ meaning ‘hill’. For example, the surname Meyer means dairy farmer today, whereas, during the Middle Ages, Meyer designated people who were stewards of landholders. Old German Script Transcriber (alte deutsche Handschriften):See your family names in the script of the era. 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 It is therefore the policy that these charts be listed as commissioner unknown. German last names originate from places and professions in Germany and far beyond, as a list of 100 of the most common German surnames shows. Type your name or other word into the font generator tool. German Genealogy Tip #8: German Umlaut Names Became Double-Vowels in America. 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. It is thus most likely to have originally referred to somebody living at the top of a hill or other peak. Charts by Village. This is a list of the most common surnames (also called last names or family names) in North America. Discover the ethnic origin and meaning of last names. Some of the most common last names that are unforgettable are Graf, Einstein, Becker, Kahn, Klose, Ballack, Bach, and so on. The latter groups arrived in the 19th century, thus their plentiful names follow different patterns. Just before the civil war is when my relative came from Bavaria Germany to New York not sure what the original name was. “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. A service provided by, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If a name was translatable, sooner or later family members would use such terms as Carpenter for Zimmermann, Taylor for Schneider, etc. There are some people in Germany whose last names are more popular than their first names. 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). Even with less transparent names, a lingering knowledge about the meaning of the family name is handed down from generation to generation in most families. This is in response to the post of Gwynne Geyer. According to the above table, from the 2000 Census, 17.11% of Americans have a surname among the top 100. The German Genealogy Group (GGG) Surname List is a compilation of the surnames submitted by members of the GGG. Occasionally, surname charts surface that we cannot contribute to any one individual. Then there was Friedrich Hoffmann, the physician to The acronyms OHG and MHG stand for Old High German and Middle High German, respectively. Does that seem right. Jensen Ackles – actor. An “umlaut” a “double dot” mark over a vowel, to indicate a more fronted or rounded pronunciation. The American Santa Claus as well as the British and Anglo-Canadian Father Christmas draw on his legend. 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). German Americans (German: Deutschamerikaner, pronounced [ˈdɔʏ̯tʃʔameʁiˌkaːnɐ]) are Americans who have full or partial German ancestry. Another tricky thing about German last names: A last name could be what you would call a farm name. 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. 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. Achen. What about the last name:Makin! 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. Your email address will not be published. If you have any knowledge of Bauer being a surname or other leads I could follow I would be great full!!! 2, also appears as Schmitt (No. 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. Thank you for your time in reading my reply. Bezold (* Betzold, Betzoldt..), Petzoldt (* Petzold, Pezold) Beyer, Beier, Bayer, Baier Bezzenberger (cf. If a German moved onto someone else's farm, it was not uncommon to change his last name to that of the farm. But the first name that has been passed down was J Jonathan or Jon for short. Top surnames according to the 2010 U.S. Census may be found here. Required fields are marked *. 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. With an estimated size of approximately 44.2 million in 2018, German Americans are the largest of the self-reported ancestry groups by the United States Census Bureau in its American Community Survey. For example, the surname Meyer means dairy farmer today, whereas, during the Middle Ages, Meyer designated people who were stewards of landholders. The meanings of German last names are those as defined initially when these names became surnames. Acker. The Davises were born, ca 1790s, in Charles Co., MD perhaps they were Germans who had migrated down from the Pennsylvania Dutch area? BRAND (1) German, English Derived from the Germanic given name BRANDO or its Old Norse cognate BRANDR. 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. The following tables include all surnames with over 0.001% frequency in the US population during the 1990 census. Updated data Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, Population Analysis & Evaluation Staff Surname A-G. Surname H-K. Surname L-R. Surname S-Z. 24), and Schmid (No. 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. It is a toponymic name referring to people who originally came from the city of Aachen in … This list is different than one showing popular German surnames with their English translations. Ben Affleck – actor and filmmaker. 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 ? Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. She asks, Could the name Davis be an American form or a German name? They all trace their lineage back to one couple whose name was DAVIS. German surnames Anglicization of family surnames occurred frequently among children of German citizens born in the anglosphere, notably to German immigrants in America. 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. HORN English, German, Norwegian, Danish From the Germanic word horn meaning "horn" . 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. But the name Byers is what they translated it to. Thomas is a common surname of English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, French, German, Dutch, and Danish origin.. Casey Affleck – actor and director. 26). Or derived from Old German "Brook" or "Brauk," for people near a marshy landscape, common in northern regions. Many attended German Evangelical churches in which the sermon was in German. Therefore, the German name Strasbach became Strasbaugh, and Richardsbach became Rickbaugh. Some 50 million people there are primarily of German descent. In the table, the German name is listed on the left, with its origin (and explanation if needed) on the right. Read on and find out more about the German surnames. Most German surnames derive either from archaic professions (such as Schmidt, Müller, Weber, or Schäfer) or places. The largest single ethnicity/ancestry group in America is German. © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. 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. 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. For information on the Soundex, see the Soundex article in the FamilySearch Research Wiki. Because of this, German last names can be found throughout bordering countries, including Poland, Austria, France and Spain. 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. Santa Claus as well as the British and Anglo-Canadian Father Christmas draw on his.! 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