Dreyfus History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Dreyfus family name begins in the German province of Bavaria. Dreyfus is a nickname surname, a class of German names derived from eke-names, or added names, that described people by a personal characteristic or other attribute. Dreyfus is a name for a man who had to use a crutch. The surname, which was originally derived from the German word drivuoss, which means a tripod or a cooking pot with three legs, was also applied to a person who "stands for" everything or was tolerant. Dreyfus is also a Jewish local surname that was originally derived from the town of Trier on the Moselle, known in French as Treves. Both the French and the German name come from the Latin Augusta Treverorum, or the City of Augustus among the Treveri. In Bavaria, the Dreyfus family was a powerful and prestigious landholder family. In the Middle Ages, when Bavaria was characterized by feudalism, knighthood, and heroic battles, the Dreyfus family resided on a feudal estate and enjoyed the splendors of the feudal courts. Moreover, the family played an instrumental role in the development of Bavarian political and economic affairs.

Early Origins of the Dreyfus family

The surname Dreyfus was first found in Augsburg, where this family name became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. Always prominent in social affairs, the name became an integral part of that turbulent region as it emerged to form alliances with other families within the Feudal System and the nation.

Early History of the Dreyfus family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dreyfus research. Another 83 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1872, 1859 and 1935 are included under the topic Early Dreyfus History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dreyfus Spelling Variations

Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Dreyfus include Dreyfuss, Dreyfus, Dreifuss, Drayfuss, Dreifus, Dreyfous, Driefus, Drifuss, Dryfuss and many more.

Early Notables of the Dreyfus family (pre 1700)

Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dreyfus Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dreyfus Ranking

In France, the name Dreyfus is the 5,349th most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. [1]

United States Dreyfus migration to the United States +

European migration to North America began in the mid-17th century and continued unabated until the mid-20th. Many Bavarians made the long trip to escape poverty or persecution based on their religious beliefs. The chance for tenant farmers to own their own land was also a major drawing card. They settled all across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many came to Canada also, settling in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Dreyfuss to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Dreyfus Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Dreyfus, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [2]
  • Aaron Dreyfus, who landed in Mississippi in 1858 [2]
  • George Dreyfus, who landed in Mississippi in 1859 [2]
  • Herrman Dreyfus, who arrived in Mississippi in 1869 [2]
  • David A Dreyfus, who arrived in Mississippi in 1877 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dreyfus Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mose Dreyfus, who landed in Mississippi in 1902 [2]
  • Nathan Dreyfus, who arrived in Alabama in 1917 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Dreyfus (post 1700) +

  • Hubert Lederer Dreyfus (1929-2017), American philosopher and professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Lee Sherman Dreyfus (1926-2008), American politician and 40th Governor of Wisconsin
  • Huguette Dreyfus (1928-2016), French harpsichordist
  • Julie Dreyfus (b. 1966), French actress
  • George Dreyfus (b. 1928), Australian contemporary classical, film and television composer
  • René Dreyfus (1905-1993), French driver who raced automobiles for 14 years in the 1920s and 1930s
  • Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935), French military officer falsely accused of treason

  1. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  2. ^ 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)

Houseofnames.com on Facebook
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate