Alten History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The German surname Alten emerged in the lands that formed the modern state of Lower Saxony, which is presently bordered by the North Sea, the Hartz mountains and the Elbe and Ems rivers. Lower Saxony was previously a medieval Saxon dukedom. The name Alten, which is a local surname, reveals that the original bearer of the name once lived, held land, or was born in this beautiful region of Lower Saxony. In the Holy Roman Empire, hereditary surnames were adopted according to fairly general rules and after the 12th century, names that were derived from localities became increasingly widespread. Local names 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 bearer of the name was an aristocrat. However, in modern times, the von is frequently dropped from the surname.

Early Origins of the Alten family

The surname Alten was first found in Brunswick, where the name was closely identified in early mediaeval times with the feudal society which would become prominent throughout European history. The name would later emerge as a noble family with great influence, having many distinguished branches, and become noted for its involvement in social, economic and political affairs. The Alten name belongs to one of the oldest recorded noble families of this region; they appeared in chronicles as early as 1183.

Important Dates for the Alten family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Alten research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1764 and 1840 are included under the topic Early Alten History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Alten Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Alten, Allten, Altenn, Altens, Alltens, Alltenns and others.

Early Notables of the Alten family (pre 1700)

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

Alten migration to the United States

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Alten Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Alten, age 56 settled in America in 1709 with his wife and 4 daughters
Alten Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Gottfried Conrad Alten, who landed in America in 1851 [1]
  • G. N. Alten, who arrived in San Francisco in 1852
  • Herman Alten, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1877 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Alten (post 1700)

  • Steve Alten (b. 1959), American science fiction author
  • Jack Van Alten, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Michigan State Senate 16th District, 1940 [2]
  • Cornelius Van Alten, American politician, Socialist Labor Candidate for Michigan State Auditor General, 1916 [2]
  • Karl August Alten (1764-1840), German statesman

Historic Events for the Alten family

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Ernest Mathew Alten, American Seaman Second Class from California, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [3]

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  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 10) . Retrieved from
  3. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from
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