Dieffenbach History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient German region of the Rhineland was the original home of the ancestors of the Dieffenbach surname. Dieffenbach was a local name, a type of hereditary surname that identified people by the places where they lived. Landowners were the first to use local names, and they often attached the prefix "von", meaning "of" or "from," to the surname. Often, the use of "von" was a mark of aristocratic birth. Local names are by far the most common style of German hereditary surname. Dieffenbach was a name for 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 Dieffenbach family

The surname Dieffenbach 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.

Important Dates for the Dieffenbach family

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

Dieffenbach Spelling Variations

One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Dieffenbach include Diefenbach, Tiefenbach, Tieffenbach, Tiefenback, Dieffenback, Diefenbacker, Diefenbaecker, Diefenbaeker, Diefenbacher, Dieffenbach, Diepenback, Diepenbecker, Diefenbecker, Deefenback, Diefebacher and many more.

Early Notables of the Dieffenbach family (pre 1700)

Notables with the name Dieffenbach 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 Dieffenbach Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dieffenbach migration to the United States

Hundreds of thousands of Europeans, including many Rhinelanders, made the voyage to North America between the 17th and 20th centuries. It was an escape from religious persecution and poverty and also an opportunity for people to start over and own their own land. Most landed at Ellis Island, off New York before moving on to the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, and California. Some also landed in Canada and settled in Ontario, while others headed west to the prairie provinces. A study of passenger and immigration lists has shown a number of people bearing the name of Dieffenbach, or one of its variants, reaching North America shores very early:

Dieffenbach Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Conrad Dieffenbach, who arrived in New York in 1709 [1]
  • Michael Dieffenbach (Tiefenbach) settled in Maryland in 1760
  • Balthasar Dieffenbach, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1764 [1]
Dieffenbach Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Sabine Dieffenbach, who arrived in Texas in 1845 [1]
  • Georg Dieffenbach and Sabine Dieffenbach both settled in Texas in 1845
  • Peter Dieffenbach, aged 24, who landed in New York, NY in 1849 [1]

Dieffenbach migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Dieffenbach Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Dr. Dieffenbach, British naturalist travelling from London aboard the ship "Tory" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 20th September 1839 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Dieffenbach (post 1700)

  • Henry Dieffenbach, American Republican politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Queens County 5th District, 1928 [3]
  • Frederick Dieffenbach, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Jersey, 1904 [3]
  • Fred Dieffenbach Jr., American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Jersey, 1916 [3]
  • Joseph Dieffenbach (1796-1863), German gardener, best known for developing Dieffenbachia, a genus of tropical flowering plants
  • Georg Christian Dieffenbach (1822-1901), German poet and theologian
  • Johann Karl Ernst Dieffenbach (1811-1855), German physician, geologist and naturalist, the first trained scientist to live and work in New Zealand


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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