View Poll Results: My German surname is derived from... and ends in...

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  • ...the first name of the father (patronymic)

    11 22.45%
  • ...a nickname relating to a distinctive physical or mental characteristic, animals or plants

    9 18.37%
  • ...a trade, profession, or occupation

    12 24.49%
  • ...derived from a place, locality

    10 20.41%
  • ...other origin

    4 8.16%
  • -er

    9 18.37%
  • -mann

    7 14.29%
  • -dt

    2 4.08%
  • -el

    1 2.04%
  • -en

    1 2.04%
  • -ch

    2 4.08%
  • other ending

    8 16.33%
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Thread: Origins and Meanings of German Surnames

  1. #21
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    Glad you put this back up. I can read some of it with the help of a German-English dictionary. I'm trying to find my Holsteiner forebears' name in it.

  2. #22
    Member Katharina's Avatar
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    Place/village + -er

  3. #23
    Senior Member Mööv's Avatar
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    Name based, without a suffix, though there are variants with various suffixes.
    Germaid's book says: "Vollname. Zweistämmige Kürzung".
    By the pricking of my thumbs,
    Something wicked this way comes.
    Open, locks,
    Whoever knocks.

  4. #24
    Holiness is in right action, and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves.
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    Male name, dialectic version + -le diminutiv suffix.

    "Remember that, even when those who move you be kings or men of power, your soul is in your keeping alone. When you stand before God, you cannot say, "But I was told by others to do thus,"or that virtue "was not convenient at the time." This will not suffice."
    /King Baldwin IV in the Kingdom of Heaven/

  5. #25
    Senior Member Plantagenet's Avatar
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    Rather than create a whole thread for it, I figured I'd ask here, particularly directed at German members who may have more information than what I can find in English:

    Does anyone know the origin of the German surname "Greib" and where people bearing this surname mostly live?

    I ask because a German ancestor of mine who came to the US in the latter half of the 19th century had the surname Greib and has his origins listed as "Prussia", being born there in 1827 and I can't really find much on him or the surname. I wonder whether he is likely from East Prussia or Brandenburg proper or perhaps in a more Western Prussian possession, such as Westphalia.

    There seems to be some related names it may be confused with, perhaps "Grebe" but in all of the documents I have of him and his children their name is clearly spelled "Greib."

  6. #26
    Senior Member Mööv's Avatar
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    @Plantagenet

    Distribution of "Greib" name:



    Source: http://worldnames.publicprofiler.org/


    Most hits are in Alsace-Lorraine and Rheinland-Palatinate, so it probably has origin there.


    Edit:

    Geogen has a bit more detailed result as far as today's Germany goes, you might find more useful. I tried to attach screenshots but for some reason the forum doesn't allow me to via editing. Must be a bug.

    Version 3: http://legacy.stoepel.net/en/Default.aspx
    Version 4: http://geogen.stoepel.net

    It gives 45 entries on Greib, most of which are in and around Koblenz, Bonn, Ruhr area and northwest Hesse... Koblenz having the most. All inside former Prussia.
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    By the pricking of my thumbs,
    Something wicked this way comes.
    Open, locks,
    Whoever knocks.

  7. #27
    Anachronism "Friend of Germanics"
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    My mother's maiden name is the name of a certain tree or shrub with no ending (no, not a -baum here.) While most common in Westphalia, it is also common in the part of Holstein from which the family hails.
    Most people think as they are trained to think, and most people make a majority.

  8. #28
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    Typical Austro-Bavarian name, two-part and relatively long, and relating to a locality, ending in -er. It's also a name that is very concentrated in an ancestor's home region, so concentrated in fact that stating the area it is from would help narrow it down to perhaps two handful of names.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

  9. #29
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    My German surname is related to an animal and ends in -el.
    The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.
    -Antoine de Saint Exupery

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  11. #30
    a.k.a. Godwinson SaxonPagan's Avatar
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    Okay, I'm going for -esel

    Hmmm ... could be -igel though

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