Bertolf History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Bertolf is a ancient Westphalian patronymic name. Names derived from the given name of the father of the original bearer are called patronymic, while names derived from the given name of the mother are called metronymic. Bertolf comes from the Germanic personal name Baldawin, which in turn derives from the Gothic word Balths, the Old German word bald, and the German balt, which mean courageous. The names Baldawin and Baldwin translate into courageous friend, from bald, which means courageous and wini, which means friend.

Early Origins of the Bertolf family

The surname Bertolf was first found in Westphalia, where the name Belven made a great early contribution to the feudal society of early Europe. The name Belven became prominent in local affairs and branched into many houses where family members continued to play important roles in the savage tribal and national conflicts which erupted as each group vied for enhanced power and status in an ever changing territorial profile.

Early History of the Bertolf family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bertolf research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bertolf History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bertolf Spelling Variations

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 Bertolf include Belven, Bellven, Belvenn, Bellvenn, Bellvens, Belvens, Belver, Bellver, Belvers, Bellvers, Belvel, Bellvel, Belvele, Bellvele, Balven, Balver, Balvel, Balvele, Baelven, Baelver, Baelvel and many more.

Early Notables of the Bertolf family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Bertolf Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bertolf migration to the United States +

For many Germans, emigration to North America was an inviting alternative to the trials of life in the old country. From the mid-17th into the present century, thousands of Germans migrated across the Atlantic. They capitalized on the chance to escape poverty and persecution, and to own their own land. After 1650, Germans settled throughout the states of Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many also landed in Canada, settling in Ontario or father west on the rich land of the prairies. Among them:

Bertolf Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Guilliam Bertolf, who arrived in New Jersey in 1684 [1]


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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