Fifer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

Medieval Austria is the noble birthplace of the family name Fifer. 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.

Early Origins of the Fifer family

The surname Fifer was first found in Austria, where the name could be considered to make a great early contribution to 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 played important roles in the national conflicts, each group seeking power and status in an ever changing territorial profile. Chronicles first mention Nickel Pfyfer of Liegnitz in 1372, and Hailman der Pfiffer in 1371.

Important Dates for the Fifer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fifer research. Another 164 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1566, 1590, 1713, 1721, 1797, and 1858 are included under the topic Early Fifer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fifer 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 Fifer include Pfeiffer, Pfeifer, Pfeyffer, Pfeyfer and many more.

Early Notables of the Fifer family (pre 1700)

During this period prominent bearers of the name Fifer were Johann Babtist Pfeiffer (around 1721), who was administrator for the mines and forges of Achrain, and was knighted in 1721. Ida Laura Pfeiffer (1797-1858) was...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fifer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fifer migration to the United States

After the First World War, Austria became a republic. The Treaty of Versailles broke up the empire in 1919 and many of the Sudeten Germans were incorporated into the new nation of Czechoslovakia. In the 20th century, many Austrians migrated to other parts of Germany or Europe, as well as to North America. In the United States, the majority of settlers landed in Philadelphia, and moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Many German settlers also migrated to Canada, particularly Ontario and the Prairies. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Fifer were

Fifer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John W Fifer, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Fifer (post 1700)

  • Florence Fifer Bohrer (1877-1960), American politician, first female senator in the Illinois General Assembly (1924-1932)

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Citations

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
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