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.
Early Origins of the Earnhardt family
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.
Early History of the Earnhardt family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Earnhardt research.Another 114 words (8 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.
Earnhardt 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 Earnhardt include Ehrhardt, Ehrhart, Erhart, Erhard, Erhardt, Errheart, Errhart, Errhard, Errhardt, Earhart, Airhart and many more.
Early Notables of the Earnhardt family (pre 1700)
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.
Migration of the Earnhardt family to the New World and Oceana
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
Contemporary Notables of the name Earnhardt (post 1700)
- 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