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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The historical and enchanting region of Austria is the ancient homeland of the distinguished Doerksen family. Austria, which was originally home to a Celtic people, was conquered by the Roman Empire in about 15 BC. Following the fall of Rome, Austria was repeatedly invaded by barbarian tribes, such as the Vandals, Visigoths, and Huns, who swept in from the east. During the 5th and 6th centuries, the Alemanni, Avars and Slavs settled Austria. The Avars were defeated in 785 by the Frankish emperor Charlemagne, who set up the East Mark, which later became known as the Österreich. Austria was ruled by the Babenburger dynasty until 1278, when they were succeeded by the Hapsburg dynasty, which ruled Austria until the 20th century.

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The surname Doerksen was first found in Austria, where the name could be considered to have made a major 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 in Austria and Germany which played important roles in the savage tribal and national conflicts, each group supremacy in a changing territorial profile.

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 Doerksen include Dorr, Doerr, Dor, Doer, Dorrs, Dors, Dorrer, Doerrer, Deorrie and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Doerksen research. Another 246 words (18 lines of text) covering the year 1446 is included under the topic Early Doerksen History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Doerksen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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After the First World War, Austria became a republic. The Treaty of Versailles broke up the empire in 1919 and many of the Sudeten Germans were incorporated into the new nation of Czechoslovakia. In the 20th century, many Austrians migrated to other parts of Germany or Europe, as well as to North America. In the United States, the majority of settlers landed in Philadelphia, and moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Many German settlers also migrated to Canada, particularly Ontario and the Prairies. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Doerksen were

Doerksen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Sarah Doerksen, who arrived in New York, NY in 1878

Doerksen Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Abraham Doerksen, who arrived in Manitoba in 1874
  • Johan Doerksen, who arrived in Manitoba in 1874
  • David Doerksen, who arrived in Manitoba in 1875
  • Jacob Doerksen, who landed in Manitoba in 1875
  • Catharina Doerksen, who landed in Manitoba in 1876


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  • Victor Doerksen (b. 1953), Canadian politician, former cabinet minister in Alberta, Canada
  • Trevor Doerksen, Canadian producer and director, founder and CEO of MoboVivo
  • Joseph Daniel "Joe" Doerksen (b. 1977), Canadian mixed martial artist from New Bothwell, Manitoba
  • Heather Doerksen, Canadian Leo Award nominated actress, known for Pacific Rim (2013), The Cabin in the Woods (2012) and The Uninvited (2009)
  • Brian Robert Doerksen (b. 1965), Canadian Christian singer-songwriter and worship leader from Abbotsford, British Columbia
  • Arno Doerksen (b. 1958), Canadian politician, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Strathmore-Brooks (2008-2012)


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ad majorem dei gloriam
Motto Translation: For the greater glory of God

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  1. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
  2. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
  3. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
  4. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
  5. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
  6. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
  7. Kapff, Rudolf. Schwäbische Geschlechtsnamen. Stuttgart: Verlag Silberburg, 1927. Print.
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
  10. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. Print. (ISBN 978-0806303024).
  11. ...

The Doerksen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Doerksen Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 August 2015 at 11:47.

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