Westphalia. Westphalia, the home of the name Altendorff. Hereditary surnames were adopted in this region after the 12th century, and surnames were derived from localities were common. Local surnames 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 initial bearer of the name was an aristocrat. The Altendorff family originally lived in one of the numerous villages named Dorff scattered throughout the German states. Many German family names were derived from the names of small villages, royal or noble households, and even large religious dwellings.
Early Origins of the Altendorff family
Westphalia, 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.
Early History of the Altendorff family
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Altendorff Spelling Variations
Early Notables of the Altendorff family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Altendorff family to the New World and Oceana
Many Germans emigrated across the Atlantic to seek better lives in North America. This great migration began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century. Resettlement was particularly attractive to those from Westphalia as a means of escape from poverty and religious persecution. For many Westphalian farmers, the chance to own one's own land was also a major incentive. The process of the widespread colonization of the United States began in 1650, when many immigrants from Germany settled in pockets in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. In Canada, German settlements centered around Ontario and the Prairie provinces. Among them were:
Altendorff Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Altendorff Family Crest Products