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