Bavaria, some time after the 12th century, when hereditary surnames were adopted according to fairly general rules, and names that were derived from locations became particularly common. The family name Eichtorf is a local surname. Originally denoting the proprietorship of an estate or influence within a village, the German preposition von, which means from or of, used with local names, was taken as a mark of aristocracy. The surname Eichtorf was given to someone who lived in Bavaria, where they were a noted presence in the social and cultural life of the area.
Early Origins of the Eichtorf family
Bavaria, where the family became noted for its many branches within the region, many houses acquiring a status and influence which rivaled that of the landed aristocracy. In their later history some branches were elevated to the ranks of nobility as they distinguished themselves through their contributions to the social, political, and economic developments of the nation. Individual bearers of the name first mentioned in ancient chronicles include Heinrich von Eichendorff, who was Governor of Lebus around 1353, and Otto von Eichendorff, who acquired the estate Pilgram between 1485 and 1499, where after his brother Peter von Eichendorff auf Petersdorff took over. It was already known in 1256 that the Eichendorff family possessed extensive and numerous estates.
Early History of the Eichtorf family
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Eichtorf Spelling Variations
Early Notables of the Eichtorf family (pre 1700)
Baron Joseph von Eichendorff (1788-1857), who was a Romantic Silesian poet, renowned for his nature poetry...
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Migration of the Eichtorf family to the New World and Oceana
The great European flow of migration to North America, which began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century, was particularly attractive to those from Bavaria who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. For many Bavarian tenant farmers, the chance to own their own land was a major incentive. So the widespread colonization of the United States began in 1650, when many immigrants from Germany settled in pockets in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. In Canada, German settlement centered in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were: Peter Eichendorf, who arrived in New York in 1884; Justine Eichendorf, who came to New York in 1884; Johann Eichendorf, who came to New York in 1884; and Jacob Eichendorf, who arrived in New York in 1884..
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