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

Origins Available: English, German


The ancestral home of the Altman family is in the German province of Bavaria. Altman is a German nickname surname. Such names came from "eke-names," or added names, that described their initial bearer through reference to a physical characteristic or other attribute. The name Altman derives from the High German word "alt" which means "old," and other components which meant "servant." It is also derived from the first name Aldman, which means old man.

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The surname Altman was first found in Lower Bavaria, where the name is considered to have made an early contribution to the feudal society which became the backbone of early development in Europe. The name became prominent in local affairs and branched into many houses which played important roles in the savage tribal and national conflicts, as each group sought power and status in an ever-changing territorial profile.

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 Altman include Altmann, Alltman, Altmanns, Altmanne, Alltmanne and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Altman research. Another 289 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1558, 1590 and 1706 are included under the topic Early Altman History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Altman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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European migration to North America began in the mid-17th century and continued unabated until the mid-20th. Many Bavarians made the long trip to escape poverty or persecution based on their religious beliefs. The chance for tenant farmers to own their own land was also a major drawing card. They settled all across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many came to Canada also, settling in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Altmans to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Altman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Thomas Altman, who arrived in Virginia in 1713
  • Anthon Altman, who settled in Philadelphia in 1749
  • Wilhelm Altman settled in Philadelphia in 1749
  • Christn Altman, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1753
  • Fred Altman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1753


Altman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • S Altman, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Joseph Altman, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872
  • H Altman, who landed in Arkansas in 1888

Altman Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Simon Altman, who landed in Colorado in 1904
  • Julius Altman, who arrived in Arkansas in 1906
  • Louis Altman, who landed in Arkansas in 1906

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  • Scott Douglas "Scooter" Altman (b. 1959), American former test pilot and NASA astronaut with over 1,200 hours in space
  • Irving B. Altman, American politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly, 1921, 1924; American Labor Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 6th District, 1940
  • E. E. Altman, American politician, Mayor of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, 1951
  • Diana Altman, American politician, Candidate for New York State Senate 21st District, 1936; Candidate for New York State Assembly from New York County 12th District, 1938
  • Dave Altman, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1924
  • D. A. Altman, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1928
  • Charm Altman (b. 1947), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from South Carolina, 2004, 2008
  • Benjamin Altman (b. 1919), American politician, Member of New York State Assembly, 1966-68
  • Alvin Altman, American politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Queens County 6th District, 1950
  • Jack Altman, American politician, Representative from New York, 1938, 1940; American Labor Candidate for New York State Senate 21st District, 1942

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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Steed, Henry Wickham . The Hapsburg Monarchy. London: Constable and Company, 1919. Print.
  3. Kneschke, Dr. Ernest Heinrich. Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon 9 Volumes New General German Aristocracy Lexicon. Leipzig: Friedrich Voigt, 1859. Print.
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Garland, Mary and Henry Garland Editions. Oxford Companion To German Literature 3rd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print. (ISBN 0198158963).
  6. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
  7. Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann. Deutches Namenbuch. Stuttgart: Verlag von Adolf Bonz & Comp, 1928. Print.
  8. 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).
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  10. Götze, Alfred. Familiennamen im badischen Oberland. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1918. Print.
  11. ...

The Altman Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Altman 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 December 2014 at 11:56.

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