Abair History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Abair surname is derived from the baptismal name for the son of Wolfgang, a popular personal name in Germany during medieval times. This personal name was originally derived from the Old German "wolf" which meant "wolf" and "ganc" meaning "battle."

Early Origins of the Abair family

The surname Abair was first found in the Rhineland, where the name emerged in mediaeval times as one of the notable families of the region. From the 13th century on the surname spread to nearly all parts of Germany, and was identified with the great social and economic evolution that contributed to the development of the nation. Chronicles mention Nivelung Wolf of Cologne as early as 1135, and Elbel Wolf of Bruenn in Moravia in 1365, showing the gradual eastward movement of the branches.

Early History of the Abair family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Abair research. Another 209 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1790, 1856, 1786, 1573, 1491, 1499, 1498, 1499, 1527, 1679, 1754, 1683, 1739, 1759 and 1824 are included under the topic Early Abair History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Abair Spelling Variations

In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Abair include Wolf, Wolff, Wolfen, Wolfe, Wulf and others.

Early Notables of the Abair family (pre 1700)

Notables with the name Abair during this period were Reginald or Reyner Wolfe (d. 1573), printer and publisher, a native of Strasburg. However, "in both France and Germany many early printers bore the same surname: George Wolfe of Baden, printed at Paris from 1491 to 1499; Nicholas Wolfe at Lyons, in 1498 and 1499; and Thomas Wolfe at Basle in 1527. But Reyner was probably most closely related to John Wolfe, a printer of Zurich...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Abair Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Abair family

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 the Rhineland who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. Many of those who left the Rhineland to seek their fortunes in the prosperous and free New World settled in the major urban centers of the United States and Canada. In the United States, the settlers from the Rhineland passed through immigration centers like that of Ellis Island, most of them moving on to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, and New York. In Canada, the majority of Rhinelanders settled in Ontario and the prairie provinces. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many important settlers to North America bearing the name Abair, or one of its variants above: Paul Wolff, who came to Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1691; of the over one hundred bearers of the name who came to Philadelphia there were Hans Bernard Wolf in 1727.


Contemporary Notables of the name Abair (post 1700) +

  • Peter J. Abair, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Massachusetts 1st District, 2000 [1]


The Abair Motto +

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: Virtutis praemium
Motto Translation: Virtues reward.


  1. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, September 30) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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