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German Surnames

You might be also interested in german surnames, german last names or family names. Learn where these names come from, their meanings and even some german genealogy.



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The Origins

Until about the 17th century, first names had a very important role in society. The origins of German last names (german: Nachnamen) usually include names related to history, colors, mythology, places, plants, natural things, fictional origins, religious, and characteristic origins. Let’s move onto the genre of names that is classed as Place, Descriptive, Specialty, and Unique names.

Ahnenforschung

Even more Origins

Many surnames included names of places, history, and mythology. Others have origins from plants, natural things, colors, religion, fiction, and characteristic origins.

The origins of these include place names, those related to mythology and history, origins from colors, plants and other types of nature, fictional origins, historical origins, characteristic and religious origins.

Typical German last names

The German patronymics surnames system uses the prefix sen, which means son of, like, Petersen, which means son of Peter. Many Germanic surnames have an "inger" prefix, such as Henry Kissinger. This indicates a name deriving from a place. The name Kissinger came from someone who originally had the name Kissingen.

Trades and occupations are also reflected in some "Nachnamen" like Bauer. Bauer means a farmer. Zimmermann is also a name referring to an occupation. It means carpenter. Bäcker means a baker.

Identifying German last names

There are a few significant terms that indicate a surname is of a German origin. Names that begin with a "sch" such as Schneider or Schmidt are classic examples. Names that end in things such as "berg", "mann", "burg", "lich", or "stein" are also of German origin. Names that have an "ei" such as Klein, Weiss, and Reichmann are very much German.


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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Niemerg surname 
My forefathers came from a town in northern Germany named Fruchtorf. Jost Heinrich Niemerg owned a farm there and one of his sons John Bernard Niemerg ...

german surname Rippberger 
I don't know much about my last name but that it is german a my family going back to the 1600's were from
Eppelheim-Heidelberg, Baden-Wuerttemberg. I ...

german surname Zickafoose 
My Grandmother's family is from Germany and the surname is Zickafoose. I believe that this was the spelling given to the name when they arrived in the ...

German Family Named Loew  Not rated yet
I have hand-me-down stories about my husband's great grandfather, Adam Loew, but I cannot verify anything about his ancestors. The story is told that ...

Hoermle  Not rated yet
Why can I not find the meaning of my surname Hoermle anywhere?

Dear Desere,
it seems to be a very rare german surname. Check this link that might ...

german surname Kroh  Not rated yet
My Father came to America in 1954. There were many things that he told me and I know that I have the family ring.

I have been told by that there was ...

german surname - Sprengler or Sprengeler  Not rated yet
Our family name is Sprengeler. This is the present spelling of this name. However, our ancestors (first showing up in the America midwest in the 1850s)...

Carl Walter Reinhardt  Not rated yet
My Grand father was born outside Hamburg on their dairy farm in about 1889.

5- Brothers two who came to the Chicago area around 1908.
Carl Reinhardt ...

german surname Tiedke  Not rated yet
My name is Wayne Reagan and I am trying to research my wife's family. I have ran into a very LARGE wall. Her family name on her father's side is "TIEDKE"...

german surname bolk  Not rated yet
I am researching the name Bolk, Boelcke. Can you tell me where they originated from? Occupations? Any interesting facts? I am doing a scrapbook for school....

Eichman, Eichmann Coat of Arms?  Not rated yet
Hi, thanks so much for helping me previously! (: I finishing my report now(:

But, I am looking for the Eichman (Americanized) or Eichmann picture/description ...

Eichman surnames  Not rated yet
Hi im doing a report on my last name and im having a hard time finding info about my last name.
My last name is Eichman.
Can anyone tell me what part ...

german surname wilgor  Not rated yet
Wilgor is my last name, i heard it was german based. But i cannot find the english translation. so if you could help me that would be Amazing!!!!

german surnames Minkert  Not rated yet
My Great-Great Grandparents came to America from Germany some time before 1836 when my Great Grandfather William Henry Harrison Minkert was born. I hope ...

Related articles

- more german surname origins
- german surname genealogy

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