When did Germans take surnames?
In most of Germany, the practice of using surnames was well established by the 1500s. In 1790, Baden was the first German state to require fixed surnames. Preußen issued an edict on 11 March 1812 that required that permanent family names be adopted within six months.
What is the rarest surname in Germany?
5 of the Most Unusual German Surnames (with English Translations)
- Bierhals – beer-throat.
- Durchdenwald – through-the-forest.
- Handschuh – glove.
- Nachtnebel – night fog.
- Trinkenschuh – drink-shoe.
How do last names work in Germany?
Most Germans have two personal names (one that is a first name and one as a middle name) and a family name (e.g. Maria Anna SCHAFER). Surnames are passed down to subsequent generations through the father’s lineage. Women often adopt their husband’s surname in marriage but sometimes choose to keep their maiden name.
How old are surnames?
Family names came into use in the later Middle Ages (beginning roughly in the 11th century); the process was completed by the end of the 16th century.
Why is the name Matti banned in Germany?
The name Matti was rejected on the grounds that it was deemed too gender-ambiguous. In other words, you couldn’t tell if the bearer of such a name was male or female (apart from looking at them, possibly).
How do I know if I have German ancestors?
The two websites generally considered to be the most complete are RootsWeb www.rootsweb.com and the Mormon Church’s Family Search www.familysearch.org. Both are set up for searches. You can enter the known facts about your ancestor and, with luck, come up with additional details.
What is the weirdest German name?
The very strangest surnames in the German telephone book
- Friedrich Vormelker (Pre-milker) …
- Hildegard Handschuh (Glove) …
- Thomas Trinkenschuh (Drink-shoe) …
- Bruno Bierhals (Beer-throat) …
- Katarina Eierkuchen (Eggcake) …
- Bärbel Durchdenwald (Through-the-forest) …
- Nika Nachtnebel (night fog) …
- Lothar Leichenberg (Pile-of-corpses)
What is a strong German last name?
German Last Names and Their Meanings