Nestled between the Rhine and Wesser rivers is the ancient German region of 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
The surname Altendorff was first found in 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
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Altendorff research.Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1480, 1538 and 1369 are included under the topic Early Altendorff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Altendorff 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 Altendorff include Aldendorf, Altendorf, Altendorff, Aldenndorp, Alldendorp, Aldendorf, Aldendorps, Altendoerfer and many more.
Early Notables of the Altendorff family (pre 1700)
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Altendorff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
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
- Anderas Altendorff, who settled in Philadelphia in 1751