Show ContentsDiefenbacher History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The bountiful region surrounding the Rhine river is the birthplace of the name Diefenbacher. A single name was, at one time, all that people needed. However, 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 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 Diefenbacher was given to someone who lived in the village of Tiefendorff in Bavaria. The original bearer of this name was from Tiefendorff and the name was adopted by the family after they migrated to the Rhineland. During the Middle Ages, surnames were often derived from the village, city, region or state of the first person who used the name.

Early Origins of the Diefenbacher family

The surname Diefenbacher was first found in the Rhineland, where the family emerged in mediaeval times as one of the notable families of the region. From the 13th century the surname was identified with the great social and economic evolution which made this territory a landmark contributor to the development of the nation. Chronicles first mention Heinrich Diefenbach of Heidelberg in 1200.

Early History of the Diefenbacher family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Diefenbacher research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1582, 1620, 1653, 1737, and 1776 are included under the topic Early Diefenbacher History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Diefenbacher 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 Diefenbacher include Diefenbach, Tiefenbach, Tieffenbach, Tiefenback, Dieffenback, Diefenbacker, Diefenbaecker, Diefenbaeker, Diefenbacher, Dieffenbach, Diepenback, Diepenbecker, Diefenbecker, Deefenback, Diefebacher and many more.

Early Notables of the Diefenbacher family (pre 1700)

Notables with the name Diefenbacher during this period were Rudolf von Tiefenbach (1582-1653), Habsburgian military leader who lead the 1st Division of the Imperial Army in 1620; Johann Christian Tieffenbach, who was ennobled in...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Diefenbacher Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Diefenbacher 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 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 Diefenbacher, or one of its variants above: Casper Diefebacher (Tieffenbach), who came to Pennsylvania in 1749 with his four children. Michael Dieffenbach (Tiefenbach) settled in Maryland in 1760.

Contemporary Notables of the name Diefenbacher (post 1700) +

  • Frank Diefenbacher (b. 1982), German auto racing driver
  • Michel Diefenbacher (b. 1947), member of the National Assembly of France on Facebook