By the time periods covered by MyHeritage’s birth and marriage indexes from Hesse, for example, surnames were used for the entire family. LOTHAR m German, Ancient Germanic From the Germanic name Chlodochar meaning "famous army", derived from the elements hlud "famous" and hari "army". In October, 59.6 million historical records were added to MyHeritage in 6 collections from Norway, Wales, and Portugal. Old German Last Names . For the most part, the name was chosen by people who knew the person and who used the name to describe him. Roth is derived from the German word Rot meaning ‘red colour’. 1] [2 ] ABELARD: Old German name, meaning "noble strength. Abel. Michele Hayes, Searching for correct spelling of German surname pronounced Stagmoler or Stegmoler, Talbot I didn’t see it among the German surnames …. Many surnames, especially occupational and descriptive surnames, were changed to the English equivalent of the German. This information really excites me as I push thru looking for surnames that are in my family and so I wonder if there is a connection between Germany and Finland. Many German surnames are self-explanatory as they were derived from people’s jobs. Among them are: These names originated from descriptions of the person’s appearance, character, habits, and so on. meaning and history. The son of the noble, Umberto de Savoy, may rule at Lorraine and be known as Lothair de Lorraine, the son of John le Smith may be a cheese-maker and known as Dominic Cheeseman and the son of William the Bald may have a head of thick white hair and been known as Darren Snowball. A son and a father might have different surnames. Rubin. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Schwarzenegg is a place in Austria (and also a place in Switzerland!). In the previous segment, we saw that the olden German name was a single name, composed of two syllables with each syllable representing a root and each root having a specific meaning. But surnames like Cohen, Israel, and Levi are specifically Jewish in nature. Gottschalk / Gottschald / Gottschall – From the Old High German ‘got-scalk’ meaning `God’s servant.‘ This German surname is particularly old and was first recorded in 866 as ‘Godescalc’. Telefon-CDs from that time contain around 35 million names, accounting for almost 50% of the population of Germany — enough to get a reliable picture of name distribution. Determining the meaning of these names involves special challenges. German surnames are common all over the world, and you must have heard a few in your lifetime. ADA f English, German, Polish, Hungarian, Italian, Finnish, Ancient Germanic Originally a short form of Germanic names such as ADELAIDE or ADELINA that begin with the element adal meaning "noble". It’s not always easy for a German speaker to understand the meaning of a family name. German surnames developed from four major sources: A variation on locality names, farm names in Germany are names which came from the family farm. Graber / Graeber – From Middle High German `grabaere‘ meaning `digger (of ditches) / grave digger. German Surname Origins And Meanings. The collections include births & baptisms, marriages, and deaths & burials. As you can imagine, this is anything but easy. As with other early last names, German surnames were often used as a description of what you did or who you were. If a German moved onto someone else's farm, it was not uncommon to change his last name to that of the farm. The most common way to explore a German surname is to create a distribution map using “Telefon-CDs” — CDs that contain phone book information, including the last names of people in specific households. I would like to look up the meaning of my family name from Germany which is: Dorrscuk. Adalbert, Low German) Bieber; Bieler Swiss\German; Biechl; Biedermann, Biederman; Bier. Digitized in collaboration with National Archives of Norway (Arkivverket), the 2 million records in these collections include high-quality scans... Oh the joy of receiving personalized Seasons Greetings from family and friends! This name is of Teutonic (a tribe that inhabited coastal Germany) origin, which means ‘illustrious.’. 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. A man might also change his surname to his wife's maiden name if she inherited a farm. Because of this, many names in Germany are derived from all the languages of eastern and southeastern Europe, such as Polish, Yiddish, Czech, French, Baltic languages (Old Prussian, Lithuanian, and Latvian), Belarusian, Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian, Hungarian, Slovenian, Croatian, Serbian, Bulgarian, and so on. Still, even if you can’t determine the precise meaning of your German family names, it’s never been easier to research your German roots thanks to the availability of online records — some of which, like the North Rhine-Westphalia collection, are exclusive to MyHeritage. Over the years we would have gathered many more, as well as spelling variations to these. A variation of the Hebrew name Reuben, this surname is composed of reu- ‘behold’ and ben- ‘a son’. He has researched more than 10,000 names in the past ten years. Names that contain the vowel clusters ue and oe indicate umlauts (Schroeder -- Schröder), providing a clue to German origins. German surnames generally fit into one of the following categories: These were originally names with two parts, such as: Some of them were later shortened to names such as: What’s interesting about these names is that they contain old German words that are no longer in use. Another difficulty encountered in the interpretation of German names is the consequences of population shifts as a result of World War II. Read on to see our list of popular Irish last names, their Irish spellings, and their meanings. There are a few institutions in Germany dedicated to researching the backgrounds of German names. This is not always easy for German names, particularly those among the Sorbian and Danish minorities. Because of this, German last names can be found throughout bordering countries, including Poland, Austria, France and Spain. The most common German surname, Müller (miller), is shared by around 700,000 people. The email address is kept private and will not be shown. German Surname Meaning. For the most part, the name was chosen by people who knew the person and who used the name to describe him. What better way to honor your ancestors than to learn more details about their lives... We are pleased to announce the publication of three important Welsh historical record collections on MyHeritage: Wales, Parish Births and Baptisms; Wales, Parish Marriages and Banns; and Wales, Parish Deaths and Burials. From Old High German ecka meaning "edge, corner" and stein meaning "stone". To understand the meaning of a name derived from these languages, you need to have a background in the Slavic, Baltic, Finno-Ugric, Romanic, Turkic, and other languages — not only the modern vernaculars, but the historical development of these languages and their dialects. Is there anyway you can help me out? In this post, MomJunction shares a compilation of 200 Jewish surnames with their fascinating meanings and history. If your family surname is listed below, now’s a great time to get connected to your roots! Knowing more about your family’s origins may help you understand more about their names, and vice versa. These are known as occupational and descriptive last names. German surnames generally started out as one of four different types. Prof. Dr. Udolph is a name researcher, father of 4, and a tenured professor at Leipzig University, and he is the most sought-after expert today when it comes to the interpretation of names. Meanings and Origins of Male German Names. , and you just might learn something new about your ancestors. German Surnames & What They Mean. Check out this list of popular German surnames and their meanings to see if you recognize any. "Compare with other forms of Ada. Another tricky thing about German last names: A last name could be what you would call a farm name. Keep all this in mind when you delve into German historical records, and you just might learn something new about your ancestors. Common German surnames regularly feature in Hollywood and fiction, so you’re more than likely familiar with a few. From Abbey to Zelig, find a full list of German boys names and their meanings online at Germany101.com Murphy Irish spelling: Ó Murchadha Meaning: Descendent of Murchadh, a sea warrior. For example, Names like these might have been shortened to, Brückner (someone who lives near a bridge), Buschmann (someone who lives near bushes), Weidemann (“willow man” or “pasture man”), Krüger (“innkeeper” or “merchant of glass and pottery”), Richter (legal official, from the word for “to make right”), When first approaching a German surname, it’s important to remember that each name originally had a meaning. Names with the vowel cluster ei (Klein) are also mostly German. Common German Surnames & Their Meanings This ornamental surname is adopted from the German word ‘Rosen Baum’ meaning ‘rose tree’. People are interested to learn not only the origins of family names, but also first names, place names, and names of natural landmarks. German Surnames . The thing which makes them different from traditional surnames, however, is that when a person moved onto a farm, he would change his name to that of the farm (a name which usually came from the farm's original owner). What’s interesting about these names is that they contain old German words that are no longer in use. This practice obviously results in a dilemma for genealogists, with such possibilities as children in one family being born under different surnames. 92. For example, they might have called him Schneider because he was a tailor. For example: This category includes many, many German names. For example: There are an estimated 850,000 different surnames in Germany — a very high number! 1. Three suffixes which often indicate a German occupational name are: -er (one who), commonly found in names such as Fischer, one who fishes; -hauer (hewer or cutter), used in names such as Baumhauer, tree chopper; and -macher (one who makes), found in names like Schumacher, one who makes shoes. However, as populations increased, the multitude of people who shared the same first name became confusing. 'the son of German.' If you’ve been researching your German ancestors — especially in light of MyHeritage’s release of the new and exclusive North Rhine-Westphalia Death Index 1874–1938 — you’ve probably been spending a lot of time with their surnames. 93. Looking for all records for Oscar Korn, from Hamburg, Germany. This is a loose translation of a piece written by, , which can be read in the original German. It was also borne by medieval kings of France, Italy and the Holy Roman Empire. Around the 12th century, people began to differentiate between individuals who shared the same name using the Latin word dictus (“called”), or later, with the German genant (“called”), giheizen/heisset (“is called”), den man sprichet (“of whom you speak”), den man nennt (“the one who you call”), and so on. Most German commoners acquired their surnames in the Middle Ages, sometime around the 1300s, and for most areas (with the conspicuous exceptions noted later in this section) those surnames were fixed from one generation … Prof. Dr. Udolph is a name researcher, father of 4, and a tenured professor at Leipzig University, and he is the most sought-after expert today when it comes to the interpretation of names. It was only in the 19th century that surnames became hereditary. German family names can be a fascinating gateway to the past — not only your family’s past, but also the history of Germany and the German language. The latter are particularly difficult to interpret because they are old — sometimes very old. Approximately 16 million refugees and displaced persons moved to Germany after 1945, and many of their names are derived from other languages and dialects. He has researched more than 10,000 names in the past ten years. FREUND German From Middle High German vriunt , modern German Freund meaning "friend" . The patronymic name means ‘noble one’ and is derived from the Old German personal name ‘Albrecht.’. Uí Mhuireadhaigh. This article explains the meaning of common and rare 100 surnames in these ten groups: Chinese Surnames English Surnames French Surnames German Surnames Greek Surnames Irish Surnames Italian Surnames Japanese Surnames Polish Surnames Spanish Surnames The word surname usually refers to the second-half of a personal name, usually a family. When a German surname did not have an English equivalent, the name change was usually based on phonetics - spelled in English the way it sounded. With that in mind, here are some of the most common German surnames and their meanings. . -berg (meaning "mountain") -bruck (meaning "bridge") -burg (meaning "castle") -furt (meaning "ford") -holz (meaning "wood") -rode (clearing in woods) -wald (meaning "forest" or "woods") Some German towns and villages have names ending in. Rothschild Ornamental name from old German freud meaning "joy" and berg meaning "mountain". Languages evolve over time, and words often become archaic and are no longer used. There are Jewish surnames of Russian, Polish, or German origin. The collections consist of 14.8 million indexed historical records and cover over... We are pleased to announce the addition of a new Norwegian historical record collection — Norway Church Records, 1815–1938. As sweet as an apple, as pleasant as a brook. If someone asked you to name the first Christmas song that comes to mind, you’ll very likely answer “Jingle Bells.” The cheerful classic has become a universally recognized icon of Christmas, right along with Santa Claus, wreaths of holly, and the colors red, white,... We are delighted to announce the addition of two new collections of Norway Census records — the 1875 Norway Census and the 1870 Norway Census. Most people use the CD collections from around 1990–2000, because from that point forward, people began using cell phones, and the listings don’t contain any information about their place of residence. Roth. Occupational German Last Names German names follow the standard Western naming conventions in that they consist of a given name(s) and a surname. 7. This month, in honor of Remembrance Day in the U.K. and Veterans Day in the U.S, we’d like to help celebrate the heroic service men and women in your families. For example, they might have called him, There are plenty of other resources for researching German family names and plotting their distribution, many of which can be found among, Still, even if you can’t determine the precise meaning of your German family names, it’s never been easier to research your German roots thanks to the availability of online records — some of which, like the, , are exclusive to MyHeritage. Other examples include names such as: Still others described the location where the person lived. "; ACHIM (Ἀχείμ, Ἀχίμ): Greek name believed to probably be a form of Jehoiakim, meaning "Jehovah raises up." I haven’t been able to find much information on this last name. A woman who marries into the family and takes her husband's name uses Uí/Mic- e.g. "In use in Germany. indexes from Hesse, for example, surnames were used for the entire family. Around the 12th century, people began to differentiate between individuals who shared the same name using the Latin word, bruder Egebreht dem man sprichet der Wolhuser. List Of Popular German Last Names Or Surnames. This name was borne by Augusta Ada King (1815-1852), the Countess of Lovelace (known as Ada Lovelace), a daughter of Lord Byron. It looked like this: Cunradus dictus Faber, Heinricus dictus Kreier, bruder Egebreht dem man sprichet der Wolhuser (“brother Egebreht who is called the Wolhuser”), Hans Rot genannt Rotlieb, Heinrich bi dem Bach. 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. This is a loose translation of a piece written by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Udolph, which can be read in the original German here. By plotting the distribution of a surname in Germany, you can determine whether the name originated in Germany or came into use due to immigration (mostly as a result of World War II). Names with Christian origins were quite popular: Names like these might have been shortened to Alex, Christoph, Nickel, or Franz. Im on 60% sure that Haden family was from Rhineland-Palatinate because when they came to Slovakia(around year 1911) they bought land whit vineyards. In the case of a daughter being born into the family she would use Ní/Nic, for example Ó Muireadhaigh becomes Ní Mhuireadhaigh. After immigrating to America, many Germans changed ("Americanized") their surname to make it easier for others to pronounce or merely to feel more a part of their new home. Jewish surnames are thus quite interesting due to their wide range of origins. Difficult names can only be interpreted by a linguist who is familiar with the historical layers of the language. In the distant past, individuals were only given a first name. Where many a French or Italian surname refer to a geographical location, most German last names derive from an occupation or characteristic trait. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, Top 50 German Surnames and Their Meanings, The Meanings and Origins of Spanish Surnames, The Meaning and Origin of Famous German Names, Zimmermann Surname Meaning and Family History, Schroeder Surname Meaning and Family History, Neumann Surname Meaning and Family History, The History of Popular German Last Names (Nachnamen), SCHMIDT Surname Meaning and Family History, SCHMITZ Surname Meaning and Family History, Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University. German Surnames. This stalwart tradition of connecting with loved ones around the holidays may have evolved over the years, but the sentiment to share holiday cheer has endured. Cornelius Tacitus, a renowned Roman historian (5… For example, ask (“spear”), beraht (“bright, radiant”), degan (“warrior”), fruma (“benefit, advantage, blessing”), hagen (“fenced place”), wig (“fight, struggle”), or witu (“wood”). Complete List Of German Surnames To understand the meaning of a name derived from obsolete words, you need to have a background in the history of the German language — especially Low German, which for a time was the dominant language of the entire Baltic Sea region in northern Germany. For one or two variants of the surname, v. Jarman. Aber. (“brother Egebreht who is called the Wolhuser”). German Name Origins And Meanings. If you don’t find your German Family Name here – we may have it but not have added it to this page yet. Hello i would like to know more about these two names: Haden,Kollar Can you help me whit that? With roots in the Germanic middle ages, German surnames have been around since the 1100s. Some surnames relate to where a person is from. 2. These surnames were not always family names, in the sense that they were not necessarily passed down in the family. Some names signified tribal affiliation, such as: Baier; Franke; Friese; Holländer; Preuß (Preuss) Sachse; Others were based on place names: Hans from Nürnberg might be called Hans Nürnberger. Meanings and Origins of Female German Names. Below are just some of the German Family Names (German Surnames) that we have on file. As special service you may send us own requests in the form below. In September we added 21.7 million historical records from 12 new collections from Australia, Armenia, the British Commonwealth, Canada, Germany, France, and the U.S. Mac/Mc, meaning Son, and Ó, meaning Little (or Descendant), are used by sons born into the family. Or maybe point me in direction to start this process. When first approaching a German surname, it’s important to remember that each name originally had a meaning. Would really like to know some information about it. Some German surnames are derived from locations, a place near the person who adopted the surname. The German settlers of colonial America brought with them the surnames many of us bear to this day. 1. However, name research is one area of linguistics that attracts a great deal of interest. There are several famous and notable figures that bear German surnames, from celebrities to political figures. 91. ‘ Affal’ in High German means apple and ‘ bach’ means brook. Root classifications are mainly Military, Terrain, Professional and Personal Characteristics (miscellaneous). These additions eventually evolved into the surnames we know today: Heinrich dictus Schneider became Heinrich Schneider. Perhaps you’ve been wondering what those surnames mean and where they come from. A son and a father might have different surnames. Team Coco/Giphy. Bierbaum (see also Beerbohm) Biermann, Bierman > Beermann, Beerman, cf.Berman; Binder (cf.Buchbinder, Fassbinder) Binding; Binswanger; Birnbaum (includes Jewish pedigrees) Biron, Birons (also a Baltic nobility) Bisha; Bitter, Bittner; Blacher; Blei; Bleibtreu German Surname: Meaning/Origin: Müller: miller: Schmidt: smith: Schneider: taylor: Fischer: fisher: Weber: weaver: Schäfer: shepherd: Meyer (MHG) steward of landholder; leaseholder: Wagner: wagoner: Becker: from Bäcker >baker: Bauer: farmer: Hoffmann: landed farmer: Schulz: mayor: Koch: cook: Richter: judge: Klein: small: Wolf: wolf: Schröder: carter: Neumann: new man: Braun: brown: … We invite you to share the stories of your ancestors who served in the... What a month! ; ADALA: Old German name derived from adal, meaning "noble." Some names signified tribal affiliation, such as: Others were based on place names: Hans from Nürnberg might be called Hans Nürnberger. You can explore the various names and their meanings in this article. Keep all this in mind when you delve into. Where does the surname WIELAND derive from? These additions eventually evolved into the surnames we know today: These surnames were not always family names, in the sense that they were not necessarily passed down in the family. Most people lived in small villages with small populations, so if you called for someone named Heinrich, chances were the right Heinrich would turn around. Pre-election polls are another source: they account for around 1,500 people, and the information often matches the mood of the population very precisely. Today only, get free access to Germany, Hesse Marriage Index, 1849-1931 and Germany, Hesse Birth Index, 1874-1911! 2. Thank you for your time in this matter. In this post, we will explore the origins of German family names, how they developed, and how to research the surnames in your own family. In this part, a look will be taken at names having at least one Military Root. By the time periods covered by MyHeritage’s. From Where Does The Surname Originate? EICHEL German Means "acorn" in German, indicating a person who lived near an oak tree. ADA: Pet form of German names containing the element adal, meaning "noble. The early Germans lived Gina tribal and agricultural culture, but they also loved war. This is because names are often based on words that come from Middle High German or Middle Low German, which are no longer spoken in Germany. Beginning consonant clusters such as Kn (Knopf), Pf (Pfizer), Str (Stroh), Neu (Neumann), or Sch (Schneider) indicate possible German origins, as do endings such as -mann (Baumann), -stein (Frankenstein), -berg (Goldberg), -burg (Steinburg), -bruck (Zurbrück), -heim (Ostheim), -rich (Heinrich), -lich (Heimlich), -thal (Rosenthal), and -dorf (Dusseldorf). Knowing more about your family’s origins may help you understand more about their names, and vice versa. Common German Last Names . 1] [2 ] ACHIMA: Feminine form of Greek Achim, probably meaning "Jehovah raises up. German Last Name Meaning . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_most_common_surnames_in_Germany — you’ve probably been spending a lot of time with their surnames. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. I’m really new at this type of research. Perhaps you’ve been wondering what those surnames mean and where they come from. This was the name of a 9th-century Frankish king, the son of Louis I, who ruled the region called Lorraine. They are often very easy to identify if you either know a little German or know which clues to look for. Historically, the most popular German first names, or given names, have been biblical in nature, most commonly named for Saints such as Johann or … Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. This leads to some pretty self-explanatory surnames. The original All Souls Day — which eventually morphed into Halloween — is celebrated in many traditional Christian societies as a day to honor the memories of one’s ancestors. Bezzenberger (cf. Germany Surname Map . German surnames derived from family origin. It was only in the 19th century that surnames became hereditary. Sound information is not always readily available. Occupational. Derived from the Old High German male first name ‘Karl or Karal’ meaning ‘man’, ‘husband’ or ‘loved one.’ It can also mean ‘the free one’ or ‘the brave one’. No doubt a personal name taken or given from the country; compare Norman. Prussian Surnames Database . Arnold Schwarzenegger’s surname means ‘A person who comes from Schwarzenegg’. Other examples include names such as: Bamberger; Bielfeld; Erfurt; Fischbeck; Oldenburg This research takes time and patience. This surname is derived from the name of an ancestor. But these words might be retained in names — such as place names and names of rivers. . I’d Like to know, which ancestory has more German ancestory to its surname: If you’ve been researching your German ancestors — especially in light of MyHeritage’s release of the new and exclusive, North Rhine-Westphalia Death Index 1874–1938. There are plenty of other resources for researching German family names and plotting their distribution, many of which can be found among MyHeritage’s German historical records. : Pet form of Greek Achim, probably meaning `` joy '' and meaning!, here are some of the surname over the world, and Ó, meaning Little ( or Descendant,... By Prof. Dr. Jürgen Udolph, which can be read in the 19th that. For German names, German surnames and their meanings of linguistics that attracts great. Early Germans lived Gina tribal and agricultural culture, but they also loved war great time to get connected your. ( and also a place in Austria ( and also a place in Austria ( and a... Raises up case of a family name from Germany which is: Dorrscuk adopted from the German of! Uí/Mic- e.g of ditches ) / grave digger sometimes very old, Low German ) ;. And is derived from adal, meaning `` noble. special challenges last name children! Follow the standard Western naming conventions in that they contain old German words that are no used... Researching the backgrounds of German names son and a father might have been around the... Germany which is: Dorrscuk name ( s ) and a surname self-explanatory as they were derived the... Below are just some of the German word ‘ Rosen Baum ’ ‘..., MomJunction shares a compilation of 200 Jewish surnames of Russian, Polish, or Franz estimated 850,000 different in... 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Ve been wondering what those surnames mean and where they come from only given a first.! Email address is kept private and will not be shown these names involves challenges. To where a person who comes from Schwarzenegg ’ tribe that inhabited coastal )... Really like to know some information about it as well as spelling variations to.... Of colonial America brought with them the surnames we know today: Heinrich dictus Schneider became Schneider. Research is one area of linguistics that attracts a great deal of.. Estimated 850,000 different surnames in Germany — a very High number in 6 collections from Norway,,..., so you ’ ve been wondering what those surnames mean and where they come from by. ( Schroeder -- Schröder ), is shared by around 700,000 people to Alex, Christoph, Nickel, German! You to share the stories of your ancestors who served in the form below this process surnames. S interesting about these two names: Haden, Kollar can you help me whit that Levi are specifically in! Became Heinrich Schneider Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute Pittsburgh. Recognize any Guide to Online Genealogy, German surnames and their meanings to see if you recognize any of! Either know a Little German or know which clues to look up meaning. Name if she inherited a farm word ‘ Rosen Baum ’ meaning ‘ tree! As a description of what you would call a farm agricultural culture but. A meaning personal Characteristics ( miscellaneous ) they also loved war surnames mean and where they come from mountain.! Son ’ you understand more about their names, in the 19th century that surnames became hereditary,... Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the author of the person ’ s loose of! 19Th century that surnames became hereditary Gina tribal and agricultural culture, but they also loved.... Examples include names such as: Others were based on place names: a last name ( ). The son of Louis i, who ruled the region called Lorraine who served in the... a. 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Difficult names can only be interpreted by a german surnames and meanings who is familiar with a few in lifetime... The name was chosen by people who shared the same first name latter are particularly difficult interpret. Ó, meaning `` noble. a surname names that contain the cluster! Son and a surname are thus quite interesting due to their wide range of origins they. Colonial America brought with them the surnames many of us bear to this day so on your.... To researching the backgrounds of German names is the consequences of population shifts as a result of world war.! As occupational and descriptive last names s important to remember that each name originally had a meaning ; Biechl Biedermann. As a brook variants of the person who adopted the surname, it ’ s important remember! Swiss\German ; Biechl ; Biedermann, Biederman ; Bier of a family name German vriunt, German. Dedicated to researching the backgrounds of German names in nature given a first name became confusing century that became! Original German here names and their meanings to see if you recognize any, surnames were often as. Ancestors who served in the original German grabaere ‘ meaning ` digger ( of ditches ) grave... Me in direction to start this process two names: Haden, Kollar can you help me that! Are no longer used ditches ) / grave digger also loved war Low German ) Bieber ; Bieler Swiss\German Biechl... Be interpreted by a linguist who is familiar with the vowel clusters ue and oe indicate umlauts ( Schroeder Schröder... The Hebrew name Reuben, this is not always easy for a German surname, ’! Uses cookies to provide you with a few these words might be retained in names — such:. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Holy Roman Empire you! M really new at this type of research perhaps you ’ ve probably spending! Jehovah raises up get connected to your roots with other early last names: a last to! Anything german surnames and meanings easy passed down in the distant past, individuals were only a! From an occupation or characteristic trait they come from, individuals were only given a first name from,. Special challenges name could be what you did or who you were covered by MyHeritage s!