German Family History

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German Name Meaning

English: ethnic name from Old French germain ‘German’ (Latin Germanus). This sometimes denoted an actual immigrant from Germany, but was also used to refer to a person who had trade or other connections with German-speaking lands. The Latin word Germanus is of obscure and disputed origin; the most plausible of the etymologies that have been proposed is that the people were originally known as the ‘spear-men’, with Germanic ger, gar ‘spear’ as the first element. English (of Norman origin): from the Old French personal name Germain (see Germain). Americanized spelling of Spanish Germán or Hungarian Germán, cognates of 2. German: from the saint’s name German(us). See also Germann. Jewish (eastern Ashkenazic): Russianized variant of Hermann. Greek: reduced form of Germanos, a Greek personal name, bestowed in honor of saints of the Eastern Church distinct from St. Germain: in particular, St. Germanos in the 8th century, liturgical poet and patriarch of Constantinople. The Greek surname can also denote someone associated with Germany or someone with blond hair.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press


Similar surnames: Germain, Gorman, Perman, Berman, Derman, Herman, Jerman, Gurman

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German Family Origin

Where is the German family from?

German Family Occupations

What did your German ancestors do for a living?

In 1881, a less common occupation for the German family was Labourer. The most common German occupation in the UK was Agricultural Labourer. 4% of German's were Agricultural Labourers. Agricultural Labourer, Farmer and Carpenter were the top 3 reported jobs worked by German.

View Census data for German | Data not to scale

  • Agricultural Labourer

    4%
  • Farmer

    4%
  • Carpenter

    2%
  • Labourer

    2%

Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your German ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

German Historical Records

What German family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 3,000 census records available for the last name German. Like a window into their day-to-day life, German census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1891 UK census records for German

Passenger List

There are 642 immigration records available for the last name German. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the UK, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all German immigration records

Draft Card

There are 1,000 military records available for the last name German. For the veterans among your German ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all German military records

You've only scratched the surface of German family history.

German Life Expectancy

What is the average German lifespan?

Between 1949 and 2004, in the United States, German life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1952, and highest in 2000. The average life expectancy for German in 1949 was 49, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for German

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your German ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous German Family

Is anyone famous hiding in your tree?

Victor Hugo1802 - 1885 (83)
John Philip Sousa1854 - 1932 (77)
Mark Twain1835 - 1910 (74)
Ella Fitzgerald1918 - 1996 (78)
Amelia Earhart1897 - 1939 (41)
James Dean1931 - 1955 (24)
Ansel Easton Adams1902 - 1984 (82)
Frank Lloyd Wright1867 - 1959 (91)
Victor Hugo1802 - 1885 (83)
John Philip Sousa1854 - 1932 (77)
Mark Twain1835 - 1910 (74)
Ella Fitzgerald1918 - 1996 (78)
Amelia Earhart1897 - 1939 (41)
James Dean1931 - 1955 (24)
Ansel Easton Adams1902 - 1984 (82)
Frank Lloyd Wright1867 - 1959 (91)
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