Rhineland is where Brodtbeck was first used as a hereditary surname. While Germans initially used single names, they eventually adopted surnames to alleviate confusion with others of the same name. As the population grew and people traveled more, the confusion rose - and so did surname use. Many German surnames come from the work done by the original bearer of the surname. Brodtbeck is an occupational name for a person who was a baker of bread. The surname Brodtbeck was originally derived from the Old German word brot which referred to bread. Occupational names that were derived from the common trades of the medieval era transcended European cultural and linguistic boundaries.
Early Origins of the Brodtbeck family
Rhineland, where the name could be considered to have made a major contribution to the feudal society which became the backbone of the 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 derives from the profession of baker, whose main product was bread: "Brotbaecker" took on a variety of spellings, often dropping the "t." In the northeastern regions the name added a "-ke" and became Brobeke.
Early History of the Brodtbeck family
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Brodtbeck 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 Brodtbeck include Brobeck, Brobache, Brobacker, Brobakke, Borbeke, Brobecker, Brobeck, Brodbeck and many more.
Early Notables of the Brodtbeck family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Brodtbeck 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 Brodtbeck, or one of its variants above:
Brodtbeck Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
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