The table below includes last names ranked 16,001-20,000 in America. She asks, Could the name Davis be an American form or a German name? The meanings of German last names are those as defined initially when these names became surnames. Achen. The meanings of German last names are those as defined initially when these names became surnames. The acronyms OHG and MHG stand for Old High German and Middle High German, respectively. For example, the surname Meyer means dairy farmer today, whereas, during the Middle Ages, Meyer designated people who were stewards of landholders. The Davises were born, ca 1790s, in Charles Co., MD perhaps they were Germans who had migrated down from the Pennsylvania Dutch area? An “umlaut” a “double dot” mark over a vowel, to indicate a more fronted or rounded pronunciation. HORN English, German, Norwegian, Danish From the Germanic word horn meaning "horn" . Another tricky thing about German last names: A last name could be what you would call a farm name. On the other hand, 13.97% of Americans have a surname which occurs fewer than 100 times in the entire population. Ben Affleck – actor and filmmaker. And have a great day. Or derived from Old German "Brook" or "Brauk," for people near a marshy landscape, common in northern regions. This is in response to the post of Gwynne Geyer. The meaning of surnames and linking them to traceable lines in ancestral homelands remains a complex issue for the family historian. Most German surnames derive either from archaic professions (such as Schmidt, Müller, Weber, or Schäfer) or places. Some of the most common last names that are unforgettable are Graf, Einstein, Becker, Kahn, Klose, Ballack, Bach, and so on. Does that seem right. Ancestors from Southern Germany (Württemberg, Pfalz) came before immigrants from Saxony and Westphalia. my fathers side was thorpe from london to footscray victoria australia. “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. Then there was Friedrich Hoffmann, the physician to Bezold (* Betzold, Betzoldt..), Petzoldt (* Petzold, Pezold) Beyer, Beier, Bayer, Baier Bezzenberger (cf. BRAND (1) German, English Derived from the Germanic given name BRANDO or its Old Norse cognate BRANDR. 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. The search for the correct spelling should include a search according to National Archives Soundex Rules. The list was initially created by searching for the most common last names in German telephone books. 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. AHSGR is dedicated to making this research available to those who are researching these lines. Some 50 million people there are primarily of German descent. Acker. 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. Because of this, German last names can be found throughout bordering countries, including Poland, Austria, France and Spain. 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. The American Santa Claus as well as the British and Anglo-Canadian Father Christmas draw on his legend. It is therefore the policy that these charts be listed as commissioner unknown. Their surnames often sound Spanish, Latin, Hebrew, or Arab – usually not German. Ingrid Bauer, who is fluent in German, has been teaching and tutoring the German language since 1996. 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. 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. 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 ? Thank you for your time in reading my reply. If a German moved onto someone else's farm, it was not uncommon to change his last name to that of the farm. German Surnames in America BECKER - BAKER ZIMMERMANN - CARPENTER SCHWARZ - BLACK KLEIN - LITTLE I found somewhere (not sure where) that it was Bauer. 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. A service provided by, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Few of the latter are on the following list, but examples include Brinkmann, Berger, and Frank. I have many ancestors in the 1800s with different English-sounding surnames in the DC area. The table below includes the 1000 most common last names in America. Your email address will not be published. In the table, the German name is listed on the left, with its origin (and explanation if needed) on the right. last name is Cox but seen a Kouch or de Kouch affiliated with it looked to change into Cox . 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. According to the above table, from the 2000 Census, 17.11% of Americans have a surname among the top 100. 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. 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. Charts by Village. 26). Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. For example, the surname Meyer means dairy farmer today, whereas, during the Middle Ages, Meyer designated people who were stewards of landholders. 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. What about the last name:Makin! At least that is what the family tree book shows. Adalbert, Low German) Old German Script Transcriber (alte deutsche Handschriften):See your family names in the script of the era. For instance, in eastern Pennsylvania, early-day officials who were Scotch-Irish translated German names ending in –bach to –baugh. Your email address will not be published. Occasionally, surname charts surface that we cannot contribute to any one individual. The author Clifford Neal Smith gives some suggestions of what to look for when tracing German immigrants in the United States. 24), and Schmid (No. The largest single ethnicity/ancestry group in America is German. Thus, when interpreting a family name, the preservation of the original pronunciation should be kept in mind. 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). Gideon Adlon – actress. in German studies. 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. 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. Where variations of a spelling of a surname occurred, those monikers are listed as separate names. Just before the civil war is when my relative came from Bavaria Germany to New York not sure what the original name was. This list is different than one showing popular German surnames with their English translations. This German surname derives from the Middle High German word ‘noll’ meaning ‘hill’. Casey Affleck – actor and director. The latter groups arrived in the 19th century, thus their plentiful names follow different patterns. For information on the Soundex, see the Soundex article in the FamilySearch Research Wiki. Many German surnames are self-explanatory as they were derived from people’s jobs. If a name was translatable, sooner or later family members would use such terms as Carpenter for Zimmermann, Taylor for Schneider, etc. October 8, 2014 Josiah Schmidt German Genealogy Tips. © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. 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