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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The German surname Erbe comes from the medieval personal name Erbe, meaning "descendant," or "heir."

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The surname Erbe was first found in the Rhineland, where this family was a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. The earliest record is of "ich Erbo, Erben sun" or "Erbo, son of Erbo," who was a knight in Colmar in 1282. Colman or Kolman, located in Alsace, was a free city of the Holy Roman Empire in 1226. They held a family seat at Strasbourg, where records show Erbo Schonterlin in 1260, and Erbo Mendewin in 1353. Further to the south, there is a record of Joh. Erbe in 1320, in Konstanz, a city on the Swiss border.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Erb, Erbe, von Erb, von Erbe, Erbs, Erby, Erbie and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Erbe research. Another 229 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1468 and 1531 are included under the topic Early Erbe History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Erbe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Erbe Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Catharina Erbe, who arrived in New York in 1710
  • Glaus Erbe, who immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1737
  • Anna Erbe, who settled in Philadelphia in 1737
  • Catrina Erbe, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1737
  • Christian Erbe, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1737


Erbe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Emilia Erbe, who landed in New York, NY in 1850
  • Emilia Erbe, who arrived in New York in 1850
  • Georg Erbe, who landed in New York, NY in 1850
  • Mrs. Joh Konr Erbe, who arrived in America in 1852
  • Joh Peter Erbe, who landed in America in 1852


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  • Kathryn Erbe (b. 1966), American actor from Newton, Massachusetts
  • Norman Arthur Erbe (1919-2000), American politician, Governor of Iowa (1961-1963)


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  1. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Götze, Alfred. Familiennamen im badischen Oberland. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1918. Print.
  4. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  5. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
  6. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. Print. (ISBN 978-0806303024).
  7. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmachers Wappenbuch. München, Battenberg: 1975. Print.
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Erbe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Erbe 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 3 October 2015 at 07:47.

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