The ancient German region of the 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
The surname Geltz was first found in the Rhine region, 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 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
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Geltz research.Another 259 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1661, 1652, 1801, 1870, 1843 and 1916 are included under the topic Early Geltz History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Geltz Spelling Variations
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 Geltz include Goltz, Golz, Goeltz, Goelz, Goltiz, Goltzow and many more.
Early Notables of the Geltz family (pre 1700)
Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Geltz Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
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
- Hans Georg Geltz, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1750 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)