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The ancestral home of the Earnhardt family is in the German province of Bavaria. Earnhardt is a German nickname surname. Such names came from eke-names, or added names, that described their initial bearer through reference to a physical characteristic or other attribute. It is a name for a courageous or honorable person. The surname Earnhardt is composed of two German words meaning honor and bravery.

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The surname Earnhardt was first found in Bavaria, where the name 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. Saint Erhard of Regensburg was bishop of Regensburg in the 7th century. He was also known as Abbot Erhard of Ebersheim Munster. He was canonized on the 8th of October 1052, by Pope Leo IX.

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 Earnhardt include Ehrhardt, Ehrhart, Erhart, Erhard, Erhardt, Errheart, Errhart, Errhard, Errhardt, Earhart, Airhart and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Earnhardt research. Another 227 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1824, 1391, 1573, 1854 and 1808 are included under the topic Early Earnhardt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Prominent among members of the name Earnhardt in this period include Friedrich Ehrhardt, commander of the 8th Prussian infantry brigade, who was ennobled in 1854; D. Johann Ehrhart, director of the medical school...

Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Earnhardt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Thousands of German settlers came to North America between the mid-17th and mid-20th centuries. The hardships of the long voyage were balanced by the opportunity to escape poverty and religious persecution. The descendents of these settlers still populate the states of Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many also live in Ontario and the prairie provinces of Canada. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Earnhardt or a variant listed above:

Earnhardt Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Everett Earnhardt, aged 21, who emigrated to Charlotte, N. c., in 1919
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  • Teresa Earnhardt (b. 1958), the third wife and widow of Dale Earnhardt, the first woman in NASCAR history to own a team
  • Ralph Lee Earnhardt (1928-1973), American NASCAR driver, father of Dale Earnhardt, Sr
  • Jeffrey Earnhardt (b. 1989), American stock car driver, grandson Dale Earnhardt
  • Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr., (b. 1974), American stock car racing driver and team owner, recipient of the Most Popular Driver Award ten times
  • Dale Earnhardt (1951-2001), American race car diver, 7-time NASCAR national champion
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Götze, Alfred. Familiennamen im badischen Oberland. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1918. Print.
    2. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
    3. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
    4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    5. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
    6. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
    7. Kapff, Rudolf. Schwäbische Geschlechtsnamen. Stuttgart: Verlag Silberburg, 1927. Print.
    8. Gritzner, M. Handbuch der heraldischen Terminologie in zwölf Zungen. Nürnberg: 1890. Print.
    9. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
    10. Steed, Henry Wickham . The Hapsburg Monarchy. London: Constable and Company, 1919. Print.
    11. ...

    The Earnhardt Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Earnhardt 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 11 July 2016 at 09:53.

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