German Family History
German Name Meaning
English: ethnic name from Old French germain ‘German’ (from 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 ancient Germanic gēr gār ‘spear’ as the first element. Spanish and Hungarian (Germán); English (of Norman origin) and German: from the personal name Spanish and Hungarian Germán Old French Germain German German from Latin Germanus (see Germain ) a Christian saint's name. Americanized form of German Germann 1 a name of ancient Germanic origin. Ukrainian and Rusyn (also from Slovakia and Poland): from the personal name German which can be from both Latin Germanus (see Germain compare 2 above) and German Hermann (compare 5 below). Jewish (eastern Ashkenazic): variant of Herman or Hermann originating under Russian influence since Russian has no h and alters it to g in borrowed words and names. In some cases possibly also an American shortened form of Greek Germanos: from the personal name Germanos (see Germain ) bestowed in honor of several saints of the Eastern Church in particular Saint Germanos from the 8th century liturgical poet and patriarch of Constantinople.7: Italianized form of Slovenian and Croatian Jerman .
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022