The bountiful region surrounding the Rhine river is the birthplace of the name Daur. A single name was, at one time, all that people needed. However, an increasing ease of travel and the burgeoning populations forced people to adopt a hereditary surname to set themselves apart from others. A common form of surname found in the Rhineland
is the local
name. Originally denoting the proprietorship of the 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 Daur was given to someone who lived on or near muddy land. The name Daur is derived from the German word "dehre," which refers to a muddy place. There are also numerous places in Germany
named Dehre and Dehrn.
Early Origins of the Daur family
The surname Daur was first found in the Rhine region, 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 unstable territorial profile.
Early History of the Daur family
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Daur 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 Daur include Derr, Dehren, Der, Dair, Daer, Daere, Dehre, Dern and others.
Early Notables of the Daur family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Daur 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 Daur, or one of its variants above: Julius Dehr came to Philadelphia in 1732; Conrad Derr arrived in Philadelphia in 1750; Jacob Derr settled in Philadelphia in 1879; Michael Derr settled in Pennsylvania in 1773.
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