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

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

The Duerr family name first began to be used in the German state of Bavaria. After the 12th century, as hereditary surnames began to be adopted, names that were derived from locations became particularly common. The family name Duerr is a local surname. Originally denoting the proprietorship of an estate or influence within a village, the German preposition von, which means from or of, used with local names, was taken as a mark of aristocracy. The surname Duerr was given to someone who lived on a dry, barren land. The name Duerr is derived from the Old German word durri and the German word dürre, which mean barren or infertile.

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Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Duerr include Durr, Duerer, Duere, Duerr, Duer, Dur, Durre, Duerre, Dueren, Duerman and many more.

First found in Franconia, where the name Duerer could be considered to make a great early contribution to the feudal society which became the backbone of early development of Europe. The name became prominent in local affairs and branched into many houses which played important roles in the tribal and national conflicts, each group seeking power and status in an ever changing territorial profile.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Duerr research. Another 249 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1471, 1528, 1690, 1784, and 1856 are included under the topic Early Duerr History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 47 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Duerr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The great European flow of migration to North America, which began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century, was particularly attractive to those from Bavaria who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. For many Bavarian tenant farmers, the chance to own their own land was a major incentive. So the widespread colonization of the United States began in 1650, when many immigrants from Germany settled in pockets in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. In Canada, German settlement centered in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were:

Duerr Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Hans Georg Duerr, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1747
  • Johann Georg Duerr, who arrived in America in 1751
  • Jacob Duerr, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1763

Duerr Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Duerr came to Philadelphia in 1848
  • Gottlieb Friedrich Duerr landed in America in 1855
  • Gottlieb Friedrich Duerr came to Philadelphia in 1855
  • Joseph M Duerr, who landed in Arkansas in 1898

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  • Edwin Duerr (1904-1985), American theater and radio director
  • Hans Peter Duerr (b. 1929), German physicist, who was managing director of the world-famous Max Planck Institute
  • Alfred "Al" Herman Duerr (1951-1989), Canadian politician, 34th Mayor of Calgary, Alberta from 1989 to 2001


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  1. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  2. 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).
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
  6. Jones, Henry Z. Palatine Families of New York 2 Volumes. Rockland, ME: Picton Press, 2001. Print. (ISBN 978-0961388829).
  7. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann. Deutches Namenbuch. Stuttgart: Verlag von Adolf Bonz & Comp, 1928. Print.
  11. ...

The Duerr Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Duerr 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 22 February 2014 at 17:41.

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