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 the many others of the same first name. Local 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. Dunker was a name for some one lived near a swamp. Ancient records reveal the name Dunker is derived from the Old German word dunk, which referred to a small hill in a swampy area. The surname Dunker is also of nickname origin and derived from the word dunck, or dunkel which means dark. One must assume that the original bearers of the surname Dunker had dark physical features.
Early Origins of the Dunker family
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 Dunker family
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Dunker Spelling Variations
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 Dunker include Dunkel, Dunckel, Dunkelman, Dunkelmann, Dunkell, Dunkle, Dunker and many more.
Early Notables of the Dunker family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Dunker 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 Dunker were among of the early German families that came to North America:
Dunker Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Dunker Family Crest Products