Rhineland was the original home of the ancestors of the Geltz surname. Geltz was a local name, a type of hereditary surname that identified people by the places where they lived. Landowners were the first to use local names, and they often attached the prefix "von", meaning "of" or "from," to the surname. Often, the use of "von" was a mark of aristocratic birth. Local names are by far the most common style of German hereditary surname. Geltz was a name for someone who lived in the town of Golz, in the Rhineland. Geltz is a Habitation name that was originally derived from a place-name. Such names derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came.
Early Origins of the Geltz family
feudal society which became the backbone of early development of Europe. The founding father of the Prussian branch was Andreas Grafen von Dinheim, who moved from the Rhine to Poland, where he entered the service of King Boleslaw III. He obtained the estate Golczewo, from which the name Goltz was taken, although it was originally spelt Goltiz and Goltzow. The name became prominent in local affairs and branched into many houses which played important roles in the tribal and national conflicts, each group seeking power and status in an ever changing territorial profile. They formed many branches mainly in Poland and Brandenburg, and later in Austria.
Early History of the Geltz family
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Geltz Spelling Variations
Early Notables of the Geltz family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Geltz family to the New World and Oceana
Hundreds of thousands of Europeans, including many Rhinelanders, made the voyage to North America between the 17th and 20th centuries. It was an escape from religious persecution and poverty and also an opportunity for people to start over and own their own land. Most landed at Ellis Island, off New York before moving on to the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, and California. Some also landed in Canada and settled in Ontario, while others headed west to the prairie provinces. A study of passenger and immigration lists has shown a number of people bearing the name of Geltz, or one of its variants, reaching North America shores very early:
Geltz Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Geltz Family Crest Products