Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
ABEGG German, German (Swiss)
Topographic name for someone who lived near the corner of a mountain, from German ab
meaning "off" and Egg
, dialect form of Eck(e)
meaning "promontory", "corner".
ABPLANALP German, German (Swiss)
Topographic name for someone living high on a mountainside, from German ab
- "below", "off" + Planalp
"high, flat mountain-meadow".
Absher comes from either the German surname Habich
, which comes from the surname hawk
. Literally meaning someone who had hawk-like features.
Topographic name for someone who lived by a spring or stream, from Old High German aha meaning "running water".
Habitational name from places in Hesse and Westphalia named Achenbach, from the obsolete word Ach or Ache (from Middle High German ahe meaning "water", "stream") + Bach meaning "brook".
From the old personal name Albern
, from Germanic adal
meaning "noble" and boran
Habitational name for someone from Aldingen in Württemberg.
ALLEMAN French (Cajun), Spanish (Canarian), German
From the French and Spanish word for "German". Believed to have originated in the Alsace-Lorraine region. Some holders of the name migrated to the Canary Islands and are part of the larger Isleños population that settled throughout the Americas... [more]
ALLEMANN German (Swiss)
Allemann (also spelled Alleman
, and Allamán
) is a surname that can be found primarily in Switzerland deriving from the Latin surname, Alemannus, which refers to someone of Germanic descent, specifically from the Alamanni tribe... [more]
Habitational name from any of ten or more places called Allendorf.
The harried officials at Ellis Island began to assign surnames based upon the pronunciation of the name by the immigrant, rather than attempting to ferret out the actual spelling. ... [more]
ALMENDINGER German, German (Swiss)
Habitational name for someone from a place called Allmendingen, of which there are two examples in Switzerland, in Bern canton, and one in Baden-Württemberg in Germany.
Probably originally a locational surname and a place name for a village which no longer exists. Alscheid (Luxembourgish: Alschent) is a village in the commune of Kiischpelt, in northern Luxembourg. As of 2001, the village had a population of 47.... [more]
ALT German, Jewish
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): from alt ‘old’, typically applied as a distinguishing epithet to the older of two bearers of the same personal name.
A surname predominantly found in Westphalia and the Rhineland region of Germany which is derived from German alt
"old" and Hof
in the local dialects) "farmstead; farm; manor".
Status name for an older steward, headman, or tenant farmer, as distinguished from a younger one, from Middle High German alt ‘old’ + meier ‘steward’, ‘headman’, ‘tenant farmer’
Habitational name for someone from a place called Altringen or Aldingen, of which there are two in Württemberg.
From the personal name Adelward
, composed of the Germanic elements adal
‘noble’ + ward
AMBERG German, Jewish
German and possibly Jewish (Ashkenazic) habitational name from any of several settlements called Amberg (literally ‘by the mountain’), including a city in Bavaria. It could also be a topographic name of identical etymology... [more]
AMES English, German
English: from the Old French and Middle English personal name Amys
, which is either directly from Latin amicus
‘friend’, used as a personal name, or via a Late Latin derivative of this, Amicius
A contraction of Ambetmann, for a court official. If there is a double "M", the origin might be Swiss.
AMMER German, English (Rare)
This surname may be derived from Middle High German amer
which means "bunting (as in the bird)." As such, it is used as a nickname for someone with a fine voice or someone who is a flamboyant dresser.... [more]
Nickname for a day laborer, as opposed to someone who owned fields, from Middle High German āne meaning "without" + acker meaning "field".
Occupational name for someone whose job was to keep a dam or pool filled with water. (Anschützen "to fill up")
Occupational name from Middle High German arbeiter ‘laborer’.
Perhaps a habitational name from Oerlinghausen in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Derived from German asche
meaning "ash" (tanners worked with ash)
AUERBACH German, Jewish
Topographical name for someone who lived by a stream (Middle High German bach
) that was near a swamp or marsh (auer
Originated in Germany. Means "Out of the Village". First used in the year 1135.
BACKMAN English, Swedish, German
Combination of Old English bakke
"spine, back" and man
"man". In Swedish, the first element is more likely to be derived from Swedish backe
"hill", and in German the first element can be derived from German backen
"to bake"... [more]
BAEDER German (Austrian)
Means something like "bath house" which historically was associated with health or medicine.
Derived from Old High German bero
Occupational name for a seller of spices and perfumes.
BALSANO German (Austrian), Italian
The roots of the distinguished surname Balzano lie in Austria. The name derives itself from "Balthasar," the name of one of the three Magi who followed the star to Bethlehem, and was popular as both a first name and a family name during the 18th century.... [more]
From Middle High German barbe
, the name of a species of fish resembling the carp; hence by metonymy an occupational name for a fisherman or fish dealer, or possibly a nickname for someone thought to resemble the fish in some way.
BARTEK Polish, Czech, Slovak, German
Polish, Czech, Slovak, and eastern German: from a pet form of a vernacular form of the personal name Bartolomaeus (Czech Bartoloměj, Polish Bartłomiej, German Bartolomäus)
BARWICK English, German
English: habitational name from any of various places called Barwick, for example in Norfolk, Somerset, and West Yorkshire, from Old English bere
‘barley’ + wic
‘outlying farm’, i.e. a granary lying some distance away from the main village.... [more]
A surname originating from the Rhineland region of Germany. It is derived from German Bauer
in the locals dialects) "farmer" and Deich
in the local dialects) "levee" or Teich
BAUMKÖTTER German (Modern)From the German words 'Baum' meaning 'tree' and 'Kötter' a type of villager who dwelt in a cottage, similar to the Scottish Cotter.
"Presumably a 'Baumkötter' earned money from a small orchard on their property."
BAY English, French, Dutch, Scottish, German, Danish, Norwegian
English, French, and Dutch: nickname for someone with chestnut or auburn hair, from Middle English, Old French bay
, Middle Dutch bay
‘reddish brown’ (Latin badius
, used originally of horses).... [more]
Shortened form of Becherer
as well as a surname given to for someone who distilled or worked with pitch, in which case it is derived from Middle High German bech / pech
BECHMANN German (Rare)
Surname denoting someone who worked with pitch, from Middle High German bech / pech
"pitch" and man
, a suffix which can mean "man" or simply be used as a name suffix.
BEEKMAN German, Anglo-Saxon
This name derives from the pre 5th century Olde German and later Anglo-Saxon word "bah" or "baecc". This word describes a stream, or as a name specifically someone who lived or worked by a stream.
BEER English, German, Dutch, German (Swiss)
Habitational name from any of the forty or so places in southwestern England called Beer(e) or Bear(e). Most of these derive their names from the West Saxon dative case, beara, of Old English bearu ‘grove’, ‘wood’ (the standard Old English dative bearwe being preserved in Barrow)... [more]
From the German male personal name Behn
, a shortened form of Bernhard
. A famous bearer was the English novelist and dramatist Aphra Behn (1640-1689).
Habitational name for someone from either of two places called Behringen, near Soltau and in Thuringia, or from Böhringen in Württemberg.
This famous surname, one of the earliest recorded in history, and recorded in over two hundred spellings from Benedicte, Benech and Bennet, to Banish, Beinosovitch and Vedyasov, derives from the Roman personal name "Benedictus", meaning blessed.
Occupational name for a furrier, from an agent derivative of Middle High German bel(li)z
BENDER German, German (East Prussian)
As a German surname, Bender is a regional occupational surname from the Rhineland area denoting a "barrel-maker" (the Standard German Fassbinder
became "Fassbender" in the local dialects and ultimately was shortened to Bender).... [more]
From the Germanic name Berno, which was derived from Old German "bero", meaning bear.
South German: (in Alemannic areas) from a short form of the Germanic personal name Berthold, or to a lesser extent of Bernhard
Possibly a habitational name from a place called Berber near Kevelaer.
The surname is derived from the given name Bernd
and was formerly written "Bernd sin Sohn" which meant "son of Bernd
". The spelling Berentzen developped through the years.
BERLIN German, English, Swedish
Habitational name from the city in Germany, the name of which is of uncertain meaning. It is possibly derived from an Old Slavic stem berl-
or from a West Slavic word meaning "river lake".... [more]
BERN German, Scandinavian, German (Swiss)
German and Scandinavian: from the personal name Berno, a pet form of Bernhard. In South German it comes from the habitational name from Bern, Switzerland, notably in the south; in other parts from the personal name Berno
BERNER German, Low German
German habitational name, in Silesia denoting someone from a place called Berna (of which there are two examples); in southern Germany and Switzerland denoting someone from the Swiss city of Berne. ... [more]
An Americanized variant of the German surname, "Bergfeld", meaning "mountain field".
Of uncertain origin; possibly from the name of a place or river.
Nickname from bever ‘beaver’, possibly referring to a hard worker, or from some other fancied resemblance to the animal.
Likely a variant of German BAER
, meaning "bear". A notable bearer is character Friedrich Bhaer, Jo's husband in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
BIELER German, Jewish
Jewish (Ashkenazic): habitational name from any of the many places in eastern Europe whose name incorporates the Slavic element byel-
German: topographic name for someone who lived by a pear tree, Middle Low German berbom. Compare Birnbaum
BIRCH English, German, Danish, Swedish
Topographic name for someone who lived by a birch tree or in a birch wood, from a Germanic word meaning ‘birch’ (Old English birce
‘birch’, Middle High German birche
, Old Danish birk
Either a variant of Buerk
or a habitational name derived from places named Birk, Birke, or Birken.
Topographic name for someone who lived by a pear tree, from Middle High German bir
"pear" and boum
Occupational name for a cooper, from Middle High German büte(n)
"cask", "(wine) barrel" + binder
"binder" (agent derivative of binden
BLASIUS German, Dutch, Scandinavian
From the Latin personal name Blasius
. This was a Roman family name, originating as a byname for someone with some defect, either of speech or gait, from Latin blaesus
"stammering" (compare Greek blaisos
From Middle High German blā
"blue" (Old High German blāo
), applied as a nickname with various senses: someone who habitually wore blue clothes, a dyer, someone with blue eyes, a sickly or pale person, someone with a bluish complexion resulting from poor circulation, etc.
German last name, likely a variant of the last name Blom or Blum, referring to the word flower/blooming.
This surname is presumed to be coming from a nickname for a fast runner or a quick tempered person, from German blitz(er)
meaning "lightning" (ultimately from Middle High German blicze
German alternate spelling of the Italian surname, Blum
BLUTH German, Jewish
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): ornamental name from Middle High German bluot, German Blüte ‘bloom’, ‘flower head’. ... [more]
Bodeman is an occupational name meaning "adherent of the royal messenger".
BODEN German, Low German
Patronymic from the personal name BODE
or a topographic name for someone living in a valley bottom or the low-lying area of a field. From Middle High German boden
Probably derived from various Germanic personal names beginning with Bod-
"messenger", or from the habitational name Boddin, name of several places in Mecklenburg and Brandenburg.
BOEHM German, Dutch, Jewish
Ethnic name for a native or inhabitant of Bohemia (now the western part of the Czech Republic), from Böhmen
, German name of Bohemia (Middle High German Böheim
). This derives its name from the tribal name Baii
"homeland"; the Baii were a tribe, probably Celtic, who inhabited the region in the 1st century A.D. and were gradually displaced by Slavic settlers in the period up to the 5th century... [more]
Occupational name for a cooper, from Middle High German botecher
, an agent derivative of botech(e)
From the Germanic personal name Baldo
, a short form of the various compound names with the first element bald
BONUS French, German, Dutch
Humanistic Latinization of vernacular names meaning ‘good’, for example French Lebon or Dutch de Goede
BOOMHOUWER German, Dutch
Boomhouwer, means "Cutter of Trees", or "The one who hews trees", having Boom translating into "tree", houw meaning to "hew" or to "cut", and er meaning "the one who".... [more]
BOOT English, Dutch, German
English: metonymic occupational name for a maker or seller of boots, from Middle English, Old French bote (of unknown origin).... [more]
Of unclear origin, most likely a variant of the German surname Born
. Alternatively, it could be derived from the Czech surname Borak, meaning "from the pine forest."
This surname is presumed to be a variant of Bornemann
, which is made up of Middle Low German born
meaning "spring" and man
meaning "man," denoting someone who lived by a spring or a well.
BORNEMANN Low German
North German: topographic name denoting someone who lived by a well or spring, from Middle Low German born ‘spring’, ‘well’ + man ‘man’.
BOYE English, German, Dutch, Frisian, Danish
From a Germanic personal name, Boio or Bogo, of uncertain origin. It may represent a variant of Bothe, with the regular Low German loss of the dental between vowels, but a cognate name appears to have existed in Old English, where this feature does not occur... [more]
Habitational name for someone from Bräg in Bavaria.
BRANDENBURG German (East Prussian, Rare)
From a state in eastern Germany, formerly known as Prussia, containing the capital city of Berlin. Ancient. Associated with the Margravate (Dukedom) of Brandenburg, the seat of power in the Holy Roman Empire... [more]
BRANDIS German, Jewish, Swiss
German & Swiss: Habitational name from a former Brandis castle in Emmental near Bern, Switzerland, or from any of the places so named in Saxony, Germany. A famous bearer of the name is Jonathan Brandis
BRAS Dutch, Low German
Dutch and North German: from Old French and Middle Dutch bras ‘arm’. This was probably a descriptive nickname for someone with some peculiarity of the arm, but the word was also used as a measure of length, and may also have denoted a surveyor.
BRAUNERSHRITHER German, Dutch, English
This name mean Leather (Tanned) Knight, or a fighter of leather armor, or in Dutch, Leather writer, one who branded print on leather
From a short form of any of various personal names formed with Germanic element berth
" bright" "famous".
From Middle High German breit
meaning "broad". a nickname for a stout or fat person.
Derived from the name of a town called "Britz" in Germany + the suffix "mann" for man.
BRINER German (Swiss)
Habitational name for someone from Brin in Grison canton (Graubünden) or from the Brin valley.
North German topographic name for someone who lived by a swamp, from Middle Low German brook bog
+ the suffix -er denoting an inhabitant.
German in origin, in heraldry a "brock" is represented by a badger. It could mean wet/water and man. It also has been said to mean broker.
BROOK German, Dutch
Topographic name for someone who lived by a water meadow or marsh, from Low German brook
, Dutch broek
Topographic name for someone who lived by a marsh or a stream that frequently flooded, from Middle High German bruoch
"water meadow" or "marsh" (cognate to old English broc
"brook", "stream" cf... [more]
Topographic name for someone who lived near a bridge, or an occupational name for a bridge keeper or toll collector on a bridge, from Middle High German bruck(e)
Topographic name for someone living by a bridge or an occupational name for a bridge toll collector; a variant of Bruck
with the addition of the suffix -ner.
From a byname meaning "brother", occasionally used for a younger son, i.e. the brother of someone important, or for a guild member.
BRUECKNER German, German (Silesian)
German (Brückner): from Middle Low German brugge, Middle High German brugge, brücke, brügge ‘bridge’ + the agent suffix -ner, hence a topographic name for someone living by a bridge, an occupational name for a bridge toll collector, or in the southeast (Silesia for example) a bridge keeper or repairer... [more]
BRUEGGEMANN Low German, German
North German (Brüggemann): topographic name for someone who lived near a bridge or a metonymic occupational name for a bridge keeper or street paver, Middle Low German brüggeman (see Bruckman
This is my 2nd great uncle's wife's Surname of German ancestry.
BRUGGER German, American
South German variant or Americanized spelling of North German Brügger (see Bruegger
). habitational name for someone from any of various (southern) places called Bruck or Brugg in Bavaria and Austria.
Topographic name for someone who lived by a beech tree or beech wood, from Middle High German buoche
, or a habitational name from any of the numerous places so named with this word, notably in Bavaria and Württemberg... [more]
Upper German surname denoting someone who lived by a beech tree or beech wood, derived from Middle High German buoche
BUELTER German, English
Middle European variant of Butler, also meaning "a vat or large trough used to contain wine." The name originated in southern Germany in the mid-seventeenth century.
North German: status name for the mayor or chief magistrate of a town, from Middle Low German bur
‘inhabitant, dweller’, ‘neighbor’, ‘peasant’, ‘citizen’ + mester
BURGER English, German, Dutch
Status name for a freeman of a borough. From Middle English burg
, Middle High German burc
and Middle Dutch burch
"fortified town". Also a German habitational name for someone from a place called Burg.
Occupational name for the tenant farmer of an estate belonging to a castle or fortified town, from Middle High German burc
"(fortified) town, castle" and meier
"tenant farmer" (see Meyer
Topographic name composed of the Middle High German elements burc
"castle" "protection" and halter
Burk is German for "Strong", and hardt is the "heart of a castle".
North German: status name for the mayor or chief magistrate of a town, from Middle Low German bur
‘inhabitant, dweller’, ‘neighbor’, ‘peasant’, ‘citizen’ + mester
BUTTER English, German
1. English: nickname for someone with some fancied resemblance to a bittern, perhaps in the booming quality of the voice, from Middle English, Old French butor ‘bittern’ (a word of obscure etymology)... [more]
Occupational name for a cooper or barrel-maker, an agent derivative of Middle High German büte(n)
"cask", "wine barrel". This name occurs chiefly in eastern German-speaking regions.
CABLE English, German
English: metonymic occupational name for a maker of rope, especially the type of stout rope used in maritime applications, from Anglo-Norman French cable
‘cable’ (Late Latin capulum
‘halter’, of Arabic origin, but associated by folk etymology with Latin capere
‘to seize’).... [more]
CARLIN Irish (Anglicized), Scottish, French, Swedish, Italian, Jewish (Anglicized), German
Irish (now also common in Scotland) anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Cairealláin
, an Ulster family name, also sometimes Anglicized as Carlton
, meaning ‘descendant of Caireallán’, a diminutive of the personal name Caireall
From the Latin personal name Christus
"Christ" (see Christian
). The name Christ
) is from Greek Khristos
, a derivative of khriein
"to anoint", a calque of Hebrew mashiach
"Messiah", which likewise means literally "the anointed".
CHRISTIAN English, German, French
From the personal name Christian
, a vernacular form of Latin Christianus
"follower of Christ" (see Christ
). This personal name was introduced into England following the Norman conquest, especially by Breton settlers... [more]
The name Claassen means "son of Klaus." It's primarily German, but it's also Dutch and Danish.
Americanized spelling, probably originally spelled Kopenhaver or Koppenhaver. Means "owner of a hill".
CRABB English, Scottish, German, Dutch, Danish
English and Scottish, from Middle English crabbe, Old English crabba
‘crab’ (the crustacean), a nickname for someone with a peculiar gait. English and Scottish from Middle English crabbe
‘crabapple (tree)’ (probably of Old Norse origin), hence a topographic name for someone who lived by a crabapple tree... [more]
CRAUWELS Flemish, Dutch, German
Derrives from the Middle Dutch (medieval Dutch) word "crauwel" and Middle High German word "kröuwel" which means "flesh hook", "curved fork" or "trident". The word is no longer used. The first person with this name was most likely a farmer, butcher or a person that runned an inn or a hostel that was named after this tool.
CUSTER German (Anglicized)
Anglicization of the German surname Köster
, literally "sexton". A famous bearer was George Custer (1839-1876), the American cavalry general. General Custer and his army were defeated and killed by Sioux and Cheyenne forces under Sitting Bull in the Battle of Little Bighorn (1876; also known colloquially as Custer's Last Stand).
Eastern German: from a pet form of the Slavic personal names Dalibor
, which are both derived from dal-
DAHMER German, Danish
A northern German or Danish habitual name for someone from one of the many places named Dahme in Brandenburg, Holstein, Mecklenburg, or Silesia. A famous bearer of this name was Jeffrey Dahmer, serial killer (1960 - 1993).
From a short form of a personal name containing the Old High German element thank
Patronymic from the personal name Anger
. Habitational name for someone from the city of Angers.
Derived from a given name, a short form of the name Tandulf
, the origins of which are uncertain. (In some cases, however, this surname may have originated as a nickname denoting a person who liked to dance, from the Middle High German word tanz
Occupational name for a professional acrobat or entertainer; variant of Tanzer
DAUM German, Jewish
Nickname for a short person, from Middle High German doum
"tap", "plug", or dume
, German Daumen