The name Duenkel comes from the Rhineland
, an ancient region of Germany
. In pre-medieval times, the Germans used only one name, but later they were forced by a growing population to adopt hereditary surnames
, so as to remain distinct from others using the same personal (first) name. Local
names derived from place names, were often chosen. They originally indicated land ownership, and frequently carried the prefix von, meaning "of" or "from", which is often taken as an indication of aristocratic lineage. Duenkel was a name for some one lived near a swamp. Ancient records reveal the name Duenkel is derived from the Old German word dunk,
which referred to a small hill in a swampy area.
The surname Duenkel is also of nickname
origin and derived from the word dunck,
which means dark.
One must assume that the original bearers of the surname Duenkel had dark physical features.
Early Origins of the Duenkel family
The surname Duenkel was first found in the Rhineland
, where the name was closely identified in early mediaeval times with the feudal
society which would become prominent throughout European history. The name would later emerge as a noble family with great influence, having many distinguished branches, and become noted for its involvement in social, economic and political affairs. The earliest individual member of this family to be mentioned in chronicles was Georg Dunckel who lived in Cologne on the Rhine river around 1186.
Early History of the Duenkel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Duenkel research.Another 162 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1811 and 1866 are included under the topic Early Duenkel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Duenkel 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 Duenkel include Dunkel, Dunckel, Dunkelman, Dunkelmann, Dunkell, Dunkle, Dunker and many more.
Early Notables of the Duenkel family (pre 1700)
Another 24 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Duenkel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Duenkel family to the New World and Oceana
Between the 17th and 20th centuries, hundreds of thousands of Europeans came to North America, and many Rhinelanders were among them. They had many various reasons for making the choice: to escape poverty and persecution, for adventure, and for the opportunity to own their own land. Ellis Island
, one of the main American immigration centers, saw many settlers as they moved on to the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, and New York. In Canada, they found homes in Ontario, and on the great plains of the Midwestern provinces. The Duenkel were among of the early German families that came to North America:
Duenkel Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- E. Duenkel, aged 30, who arrived in America, in 1908
- Emma Duenkel, aged 30, who arrived in America, in 1911
- Anna Duenkel, aged 18, who arrived in America from Germany, in 1923
Contemporary Notables of the name Duenkel (post 1700)
- Virginia Ruth "Ginny" Duenkel (b. 1947), American two-time gold medalist competitive swimmer, 1964 Olympic Champion, inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1985
- Uwe Dünkel (b. 1960), German former racewalker who competed in the 1980 Summer Olympics