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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Althouse is a local name from the German region of Westphalia. Local names came to Germany with other types of hereditary surnames after the 12th century. They were derived from the name of the place where the original bearer of the name lived. Sometimes local names bear the prefix "von", meaning "of" or "from". It was an indication of land-ownership, and was sometimes taken as a mark of aristocracy. The family originally lived in an ancient dwelling or a very old house. The name Althouse is derived from the German words alt, which means old, and haus, which means house. There is also a place in Germany called Althaus and thus, this surname may have been given to a person that was from this town.


The surname Althouse was first found in Muensterland, Westphalia, where the name was anciently associated with the tribal conflicts of the area. They declared allegiances to many nobles and princes of early history, lending their influence in struggles for power and status within the region. They branched into many houses, and their contributions were sought by many leaders in their search for power. Chronicles first mention Conradus de Oldenhus, a family in Muenster, in 1353.

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 Althouse include Althaus, Althausen, Althous, Althousen, Althouse, Althausens, Althaussen, Althusen, Althussen, Oldehus, Oldenhus, Alshaus, Allshouse, Allshaus, Althuyzer, Althäuser and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Althouse research. Another 169 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1556 and 1637 are included under the topic Early Althouse History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Althouse Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


After 1650, thousands of German settlers came to North America to escape the religious persecution and poverty that wracked Europe and to make the most of the opportunity to own their own land in a new country. They settled across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California, and in Canada in Ontario and on the fertile plains of the prairie provinces. Among them:

Althouse Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • John Althouse, who landed in New York in 1792

Althouse Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • George Althouse arrived in Maryland in 1830
  • George Althouse, who landed in Maryland in 1830
  • Johannas Althouse, who arrived in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1833
  • Conrod Althouse, who arrived in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1833
  • Johannas and Conrod Althouse both of whom were listed as having arrived in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1833

Althouse Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Captain John Althouse U.E. born in New York, USA, United Empire Loyalist who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 Captain of New York Volunteers


  • Susan Althouse, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Indiana, 2004
  • George W. Althouse, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Nebraska, 1972
  • F. B. Althouse, American politician, Farmer-Labor Candidate for U.S. Representative from Iowa 2nd District, 1920
  • Glen Franklin Althouse (b. 1933), American sales/marketing executive
  • Ann Althouse (b. 1951), American law professor and blogger
  • Gerald Frederick Althouse (b. 1920), award winning city manager of Ormund Beach, Florida
  • Victor Althouse (b. 1937), former Canadian politician


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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
  3. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
  4. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  5. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Journeys German Immigration, Settlement and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  6. Bahlow, Hans (Edda Gentry trns). Dictionary of German Names . Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-924119-35-7).
  7. Gritzner, M. Handbuch der heraldischen Terminologie in zwölf Zungen. Nürnberg: 1890. Print.
  8. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
  9. Jones, George F. The Germans of Colonial Georgia 1733-1783 Revised edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0806311614).
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Althouse Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Althouse 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 4 November 2015 at 10:39.

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