Whitmann Surname History

The ancient German region of the Rhineland was the original home of the name Whitmann. Whitmann was a local name, a type of hereditary surname that identified people by the places where they lived. Landowners were the first to use local names, often attaching the prefix "von", meaning "of" or "from", in some cases as a mark of aristocratic birth. Local names are by far the most common style of German hereditary surname. Whitmann was a name for someone who lived in the area that was referred to as widem which was originally derived from the German word denoting church property. Thus the estates or farms lived in by the original bearers of the surname were owned by the church. In early times the Church was the largest landowner in Europe. Many farmers and peasants alike lived on land that was considered church property.

Early Origins of the Whitmann family

The surname Whitmann was first found in the Palatinate in the Rhineland valley, 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 many leaders sought their support in their search for power.

Early History of the Whitmann family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whitmann research. Another 316 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1601, 1638, 1639, 1642, 1646, 1667, 1675, 1687, 1712, 1719, 1724, 1730, and 1870 are included under the topic Early Whitmann History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Whitmann Spelling Variations

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 Whitmann include Widmann, Widman, Widemann, Wideman, Witmann, Witman, Wittmann, Wittman, Whitman and many more.

Early Notables of the Whitmann family (pre 1700)

Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whitmann Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Whitmann family

Hundreds of thousands of Europeans, including many Rhinelanders, made the voyage to North America between the 17th and 20th centuries. It was an escape from religious persecution and poverty and also an opportunity for people to start over and own their own land. Most landed at Ellis Island, off New York before moving on to the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, and California. Some also landed in Canada and settled in Ontario, while others headed west to the prairie provinces. A study of passenger and immigration lists has shown a number of people bearing the name of Whitmann, or one of its variants, reaching North America shores very early: Johannes Widmann, who came to Philadelphia in 1743; along with Franz Carl in 1772; and Michael Widmann in 1748; Johann Friedrich Widman came to Philadelphia in 1749.



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