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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, German

Where did the English Altman family come from? What is the English Altman family crest and coat of arms? When did the Altman family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Altman family history?

The history of the name Altman goes back, perhaps as far as 1066, when the Norman Conquest of England occurred. Soon after this event, the name would have been given to a person or family of German heritage. Further research showed the name was derived from the Anglo-Norman-French word aleman, which means German.


Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Altman include Almayne, Alman, Allman, Almand, Hallman, Allmaine, Almon, Almand, Altman, Allman, Ellman, Dalman and many more.

First found in the county or parish of Caen in Normandy, where it is believed to have departed and accompanied Duke William at the time of the Conquest of England in 1066.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Altman research. Another 212 words(15 lines of text) covering the year 1304 is included under the topic Early Altman History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Altman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Altman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 157 words(11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Altmans to arrive on North American shores:

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


  • Scott Douglas "Scooter" Altman (b. 1959), American former test pilot and NASA astronaut with over 1,200 hours in space
  • Benjamin Altman (1840-1913), American art collector and businessman, whose New York department store was considered one of the finest in the world
  • Robert Altman (b. 1925), American film director, whose feature films include "M*A*S*H"
  • Georges Altman (1901-1960), French journalist and resistance fighter during the second world war
  • Sidney Altman (b. 1939), Canadian molecular biologist and Yale University professor, awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1989


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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  5. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  9. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  10. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. 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 14 June 2011 at 16:00.

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