Rhineland was the local name, a name taken on from a place-name. Originally denoting the proprietorship of a village or estate, the German preposition von, which means from or of, used with local names, was taken as a mark of aristocracy. The surname Breitbach was given to someone who lived near a wide brook or body of water. Breitbach is a topographic surname, a type of name given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree.
Early Origins of the Breitbach family
Rhineland, where the name Breidbach became noted for its many branches with the region, with each house acquiring a status and influence which was envied by the princes of the region. Over time, the family became a power unto themselves and were elevated to the ranks of nobility.
Early History of the Breitbach family
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Breitbach Spelling Variations
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 Breitbach include Breidbach, Breidbache, Breidback, Breidbacke, Breidbakke, Breidbauch, Breidebach, Breitbache, Breitbach, Breitback, Breitbacke, Breitbakke, Breitbauch, Bredebach, Bredebache, Bredeback, Bredebacke, Breidbacher, Breidbacker, Breidbeck, Breidbecker, Breitbacher, Breitbacker, Breitbeck and many more.
Early Notables of the Breitbach family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Breitbach family to the New World and Oceana
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 the Rhineland who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. Many of those who left the Rhineland to seek their fortunes in the prosperous and free New World settled in the major urban centers of the United States and Canada. In the United States, the settlers from the Rhineland passed through immigration centers like that of Ellis Island, most of them moving on to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, and New York. In Canada, the majority of Rhinelanders settled in Ontario and the prairie provinces. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many important settlers to North America bearing the name Breitbach, or one of its variants above:
Breitbach Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Contemporary Notables of the name Breitbach (post 1700)
Breitbach Family Crest Products