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Where did the German Westphal family come from? What is the German Westphal family crest and coat of arms? When did the Westphal family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Westphal family history?Nestled between the Rhine and Wesser rivers is the ancient German region of Westphalia. Westphalia, the home of the name Westphal. Hereditary surnames were adopted in this region after the 12th century, and surnames were derived from localities were common. Local surnames originally denoted the proprietorship of the village or estate. When coupled with the German preposition von, which means from or of, local names can indicate that the initial bearer of the name was an aristocrat. The Westphal family originally lived in Westphalia. The original bearer of this name was born in Westphalia, but acquired the name Westphal after migrating to a different German territory. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came.
One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Westphal include Westphall, Westphal, Westfehling, Fehling, Westfahl, Westfeleke (Silesia), Westphalen, Westfall and many more.
First found in Westphalia and the Rhineland, where the name could be considered to make a great early contribution to the feudal society which became the backbone of early development of Europe. The name Westphalen became prominent in local affairs, and branched into many houses which played important roles in the tribal and national conflicts, as each group sought power in a constantly changing territorial profile. The oldest branch of the family can be traced to the ducal house von Billung, which dates back to 960. From very early on the family emigrated to Pomerania and Mecklenburg, and chronicles first mention the individuals Egbert Westfal of Stralsund in 1294 and Johann Westfeleke of Greifswald in 1350.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Westphal research. Another 221 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1726, 1754, 1778, 1780, 1789, 1792, 1805, 1807, 1809, 1818, 1833, 1856, and 1890 are included under the topic Early Westphal History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 113 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Westphal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Many Germans emigrated across the Atlantic to seek better lives in North America. This great migration began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century. Resettlement was particularly attractive to those from Westphalia as a means of escape from poverty and religious persecution. For many Westphalian farmers, the chance to own one's own land was also a major incentive. The process of 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 settlements centered around Ontario and the Prairie provinces. Among them were:
Westphal Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century
Westphal Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century
Westphal Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Fais que dois, arrive que pourra
Motto Translation: Do you duty, come what may.
The Westphal Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Westphal 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 26 February 2012 at 17:48.
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