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


Medieval Austria is the ancient homeland of the Fett family. Austria, which was originally home to a Celtic people, was conquered by the Roman Empire in about 15 BC. Following the fall of Rome, Austria was repeatedly invaded by barbarian tribes, such as the Vandals, Visigoths, and Huns, who swept in from the east. During the 5th and 6th centuries, the Alemanni, Avars and Slavs settled Austria. The Avars were defeated in 785 by the Frankish emperor Charlemagne, who set up the East Mark, which later became known as the Österreich. Austria was ruled by the Babenburger dynasty until 1278, when they were succeeded by the Hapsburg dynasty, which ruled Austria until the 20th century.

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The surname Fett was first found in Bavaria, where the name, historically associated with the landed aristocracy, could be considered to have played a major role in the feudal society which became the backbone of early development of Europe. The name became prominent in local affairs and branched into many houses which took part in the tribal and national conflicts, each group seeking power and status in an ever changing territorial profile. The main branch of the family left Bavaria for Styria in Austria in 1587 and later moved into Silesia where they became one of the most respected families. The ancestral seat was the castle and estates of Feistritz, near the city Cilley, two miles from Graz in Styria. The family also acquired the castle and manor Miestitz near Oppeln in Silesia.

One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Fett include Vetter, Voetter (Bavaria), Votter (Bavaria), Vetters, Vetterle, Voetterl, Vetterling, Vetterlein, Vetterley, Vetterline, Vedder (northern Germany), Vett, Veth, Vether, Fett, Fetter, Fetters, Fetterle and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fett research. Another 497 words (36 lines of text) covering the years 1653, 1822, 1547, 1622, 1666 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Fett History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Austria was made a republic after the First World War. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was broken up by the Treaty of Versailles and many of its people found themselves in the new nation of Czechoslovakia. Many other Austrians and expatriate Austrians made their way to North America in the 20th century. Most landed in Philadelphia, later continuing on to the states of Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Some Austrian settlers also went to western Canada and Ontario. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Fett or a variant listed above:

Fett Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Johann Philips Fett, who landed in America in 1741

Fett Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Mane Mary Fett, aged 16, arrived in New York, NY in 1855
  • Ernst Jakob Fett, who landed in Rio Grande (do Sul), Brazil in 1857

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  • George Leonard Fett (1920-1989), American cartoonist born in Cleveland, Ohio, best known for his Sniffy and Norbert comic strips
  • O. J. Fett, American Republican politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 55th District, 1941-46; Member of South Dakota State Senate 30th District, 1947-48
  • Kathryn Fett, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from South Dakota, 1948
  • Harry Fett (1875-1962), Norwegian art historian, director of the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage from 1913 to 1946


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  1. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Hopeful Journeys German Immigration, Settlement, and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  2. Bahlow, Hans. Mecklenburgisches Namenbüchlein Ein Führer durch Mecklenburgs Familiennamen. Rostock: Carl Hinstorffs Verlag, 1932. Print.
  3. Jones, Henry Z. Palatine Families of New York 2 Volumes. Rockland, ME: Picton Press, 2001. Print. (ISBN 978-0961388829).
  4. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
  7. Götze, Alfred. Familiennamen im badischen Oberland. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1918. Print.
  8. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
  10. Strassburger, Ralph B. German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  11. ...

The Fett Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Fett 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 2 November 2015 at 10:07.

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