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


The name Eck evolved in ancient Germany in the state of Bavaria. It is a patronymic name. Patronymics are derived from the given name of the father of the bearer. Names derived from the name of the mother of the bearer, which are less common, are called metronymic names. Patronymic names were generally formed from traditional, German given names, rather than the names of saints or biblical figures, as is the custom in many other European cultures. Eck comes from the Germanic personal name Eckhart. The name Eck is a short form of this Germanic personal name, which is derived from the Old German word "ecka," which means "corner" or "edge." Thus, the original bearer of this name resided at the edge of a settlement or on the corner of a street.

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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 Eck include Eck, Ecker, Ecke, Ekker, Eker, Ekert, Ekke, Eckher, Eckherr, Echer, Eckermann and many more.

First found in Bavaria, where the family became noted for its many branches within the region, many houses acquiring a status and influence which rivaled that of the landed aristocracy. In their later history some branches were elevated to the ranks of nobility as they distinguished themselves through their contributions to the social, political, and economic developments of the nation.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Eck research. Another 229 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1103, 1108, 1486, 1543, 1760, 1792, and 1854 are included under the topic Early Eck History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 69 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Eck 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 Ecks to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Eck Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Margreth Eck, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1736
  • Henrich Eck, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1743

Eck Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Eck, who arrived in North America in 1832-1849
  • Johann Eck, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847
  • George Eck, who arrived in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1850
  • Kath Eck, aged 20, arrived in America in 1853
  • Adam Eck, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1870


Eck Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Thomas James Eck, who arrived in Canada in 1834

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  • Thomas Woodrow Eck (1914-1988), American football player and coach
  • Donald "Don" Eck (b. 1961), American college football coach and former player
  • Diana L. Eck (b. 1945), American religious scholar who is Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard University
  • Armin Eck (b. 1964), German football coach and a former player
  • Gary Eck, Australian comedian and actor


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  1. Götze, Alfred. Familiennamen im badischen Oberland. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1918. Print.
  2. Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann. Deutches Namenbuch. Stuttgart: Verlag von Adolf Bonz & Comp, 1928. Print.
  3. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
  4. Neubecker, Ottfried. Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon der bürgerlichen Geschlechter Deutschlands, Oesterreichs und der Schweiz. Battenberg, München: 1985. Print.
  5. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. 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).
  8. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
  9. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 2 February 2016 at 18:36.

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