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The Bahl family name first began to be used in the German state of Bavaria. After the 12th century, hereditary surnames were adopted according to fairly general rules, and names that were derived from locations became particularly common. The family name Bahl is a local surname. Originally denoting the proprietorship of an estate or influence within a village, the German preposition von, which means from or of, used with local names, was taken as a mark of aristocracy. The surname Bahl was given to someone who lived in the village of Balbach in Franconia. Originally, the bearers of this surname were concentrated in Franconia and Bavaria, however, the Bahl family rapidly expanded into other parts of Germany, branching into numerous autonomous houses.

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The surname Bahl was first found in Franconia, where the name became noted for its many branches with the region, each house acquiring a status and influence which was envied by the princes of the region. In their later history the family became a power unto themselves and were elevated to the ranks of nobility as they grew into a most influential family. The family name may derive from, or have lent itself to, the village of Balbach in Franconia.

In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Bahl include Balbach, Balback, Ballbach, Balbache, Ballbache, Bahlbach and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bahl research. Another 161 words (12 lines of text) covering the year 1694 is included under the topic Early Bahl History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bahl Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The great European flow of migration to North America, which began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century, was particularly attractive to those from Bavaria who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. For many Bavarian tenant farmers, the chance to own their own land was a major incentive. So 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 settlement centered in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were:

Bahl Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Tobias Bahl, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732
  • Peter Bahl, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1741

Bahl Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Kaspar, III Bahl, who landed in America in 1854
  • Kaspar Bahl, who arrived in America in 1856
  • Andreas Bahl, who arrived in Kansas in 1878
  • Andrew Bahl, who landed in Kansas in 1878

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  • Vikas Bahl (b. 1971), Indian film producer, screenwriter, and director


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  1. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
  2. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
  3. 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).
  4. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
  7. Preuss, Otto. Die Lippischen Familiennamen mit Berücksichtigung der Ortsnamen. Detmold: Meyer'sche Hofbuchh, 1887. Print.
  8. Bahlow, Hans (Edda Gentry trns). Dictionary of German Names . Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-924119-35-7).
  9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Bahl Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bahl 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 17 October 2015 at 13:54.

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