Bretsnyder History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestral home of the Bretsnyder family is in the German state of Bavaria. The name Bretsnyder is an occupational hereditary surname, a type of surname that was taken from a word describing or common to the profession of the original bearer. It is a name for a carpenter or a person who worked making shelves and other wooden objects. The name Bretsnyder was originally derived from the Old Germanic word Brett, which means carpenter. It was given to a person who ran a sawmill or a lumber merchant. By the Middle Ages, the Bretsnyder family had been elevated to the ranks of the nobility and had become extremely involved in the local social, economic and political affairs of Bavaria. It acquired a prestigious reputation for its contribution to the development of the district. The social status and prestige of the Bretsnyder family was increased when it expanded and acquired distant estates in other areas of Germany.

Early Origins of the Bretsnyder family

The surname Bretsnyder was first found in Bavaria, where the name could be considered to have made an early contribution to the feudal society which became the backbone of early development of Europe. There is record of a Sydel Bretsnyder in 1372 in Liegnitz and a Peter Bretsnyder in Breslau in 1397.

Jakob Bretschneider is listed as living in Dippoldiswalde in 1499 in a document called "Die Matrikel des Hochstifts Merseburg" which chronicles Germanic surnames. 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. Bret or Brett are short forms of the name Brettschneider, a name meaning a person running a sawmill or a lumber merchant.

Early History of the Bretsnyder family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bretsnyder research. Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1880, 1844, 1776 and 1848 are included under the topic Early Bretsnyder History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bretsnyder 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 Bretsnyder include Bret, Brett, Brette, Bretsch, Brettschneider, Bretsnyder, Brettschnyder and many more.

Early Notables of the Bretsnyder family (pre 1700)

Prominent among members of the name Bretsnyder in this period include Friedrich Wilhelm Bretschneider, a lieutenant field-marshal in the Austrian army and at one time the commandant of the Italian city...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bretsnyder Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bretsnyder family

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 Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were: Augustus Bretschneider, who came to Philadelphia in 1852.



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