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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the German Geier family come from? What is the German Geier family crest and coat of arms? When did the Geier family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Geier family history?

The surname Geier is a nickname surname; that is, it is derived from a nickname given to the original bearer. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. Often nicknames described strong traits or attributes that people wished to emulate in a specific animal. In the pre-Christian era, many pagan gods and demi-gods were believed to be a mixture of animals and humans, such as the Greek god Pan who was the god of flocks and herds and was represented as a man with the legs, horns and ears of a goat. In the Middle Ages, anthropomorphic ideas, which attributed human qualities and form to gods or animals, were held about the characters of other living creatures. They were based on the creature's habits. Moreover, these associations were reflected in folk tales, mythology, and legends which portrayed animals behaving as humans. The surname Geier is derived from the Old German word "gir," which means "vulture." It was given to a person known for greedy, predatory ways.


Spelling variations of this family name include: Geier, Geyer, Gayer, Gaier, Gire, Gyre, Geyre, Gayre, Geyr and many more.

First found in Padeborn, in the ancient duchy of Saxony, where this family name became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. As early as 1288 Johann Gyr appears in mediaeval feudal documents as county ruler in Warburg. As old as these documents may be, the name is also associated with families of ancient nobility in Austria and Franconia (later Hessen). Always prominent in social affairs, the name Geyer became an integral part of that turbulent region as it emerged to form alliances with other families within the Feudal System and the nation.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Geier research. Another 267 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1490, 1525, 1665, 1685, and 1743 are included under the topic Early Geier History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 39 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Geier Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Geier Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Anna Marie Geier, who landed in Frederick County, Maryland in 1715
  • Henrich Geier, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1731
  • Sarah Geier, aged 16, landed in Pennsylvania in 1731
  • Johannes Geier, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1736
  • Wolf Casper Geier, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1749

Geier Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Anna Geier, aged 21, arrived in New York in 1854
  • Georg Geier, aged 33, arrived in New York in 1854
  • Eva Geier, who landed in New York in 1854
  • Maria Geier, aged 35, arrived in New York in 1854
  • Christian Geier, who arrived in St Clair County, III in 1864


  • Woodrow Geier (b. 1914), American prominent journalist and professor in Tennessee
  • Philip Louis Geier (1876-1967), American Major League Baseball outfielder
  • John G. Geier, American psychologist and inventor
  • Oscar Arnold Geier (1882-1942), Swiss bobsledder


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Geier Armorial History With Coat of Arms
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Geier Armorial History with Frame
Geier Framed Surname History and Coat of Arms
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  1. Jones, Henry Z. Palatine Families of New York 2 Volumes. Rockland, ME: Picton Press, 2001. Print. (ISBN 978-0961388829).
  2. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
  3. Strassburger, Ralph B. German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
  7. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
  8. Bahlow, Hans (Edda Gentry trns). Dictionary of German Names . Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-924119-35-7).
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
  11. ...

The Geier Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Geier Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 6 October 2014 at 11:07.

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