Barthelmess History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Barthelmess surname comes from the Germanic personal name Bertwald, composed of the elements "berht," meaning "bright," and "wald," meaning "rule."

Early Origins of the Barthelmess family

The surname Barthelmess was first found in Bavaria, where the name could be considered to make a great early contribution to the feudal society which became the backbone of early development of Europe. The name became prominent in local affairs and branched into many houses which played important roles in the savage tribal and national conflicts, each group seeking power and status in an ever changing territorial profile. The name is associated with the famous Saint Bartholomaeus (St. Bartholomew,) who was one of the Apostles.

Important Dates for the Barthelmess family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barthelmess research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1707, 1815, 1585, 1625 and 1672 are included under the topic Early Barthelmess History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Barthelmess Spelling Variations

Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Barthelmess include Barthels, Bartel, Bartels, Bartl, Bartelemaeus, Bartholomaus, Bartelme, Barthelme, Barthelmes and many more.

Early Notables of the Barthelmess family (pre 1700)

Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Barthelmess Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Barthelmess family

European migration to North America began in the mid-17th century and continued unabated until the mid-20th. Many Bavarians made the long trip to escape poverty or persecution based on their religious beliefs. The chance for tenant farmers to own their own land was also a major drawing card. They settled all across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many came to Canada also, settling in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Barthelmesss to arrive in North America, and among them were: Bernhard Bartels, age 21; who arrived in Texas in 1845; as did Maria Bartels in the same year; Cornelis Bartels came to New Netherlands (New York) in 1660.

Contemporary Notables of the name Barthelmess (post 1700)

  • Richard Semler "Dick" Barthelmess (1895-1963), American Academy Award nominated film actor, a founder of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, awarded the George Eastman Award in 1957
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