An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: German, Swiss
The Ernst surname is thought to derive from the Old High German word "ernus," which meant "fight." As such, Ernst was most likely originally a nickname for a person or family whose defining characteristic is a serious demeanor or temperament. Nickname surnames were a class of German names derived from "eke-names," or "added names," that described people by a personal characteristic or other attribute.
The surname Ernst was first found in Bavaria, where the family 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.
In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Ernst include Ernst, Ernste, Ernest, Errnst, Ernesten, Arnst, Aernst, Arnest and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ernst research. Another 467 words (33 lines of text) covering the years 1682, 1773, 1786, 1556, 1624, 1798, 1787, 1666, 1644, 1712, 1695, 1716, 1664, 1719, 1675 and 1688 are included under the topic Early Ernst History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 111 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ernst Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
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:
Ernst Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Ernst Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Ernst Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Ernst Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Ernst Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
The Ernst Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ernst 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 22 October 2015 at 14:04.