Show ContentsGeyer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Geyer is a nickname surname; that is, it is derived from a nickname given to the original bearer. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. Often nicknames described strong traits or attributes that people wished to emulate in a specific animal. In the pre-Christian era, many pagan gods and demi-gods were believed to be a mixture of animals and humans, such as the Greek god Pan who was the god of flocks and herds and was represented as a man with the legs, horns and ears of a goat. In the Middle Ages, anthropomorphic ideas, which attributed human qualities and form to gods or animals, were held about the characters of other living creatures. They were based on the creature's habits. Moreover, these associations were reflected in folk tales, mythology, and legends which portrayed animals behaving as humans. The surname Geyer is derived from the Old German word "gir," which means "vulture." It was given to a person known for greedy, predatory ways.

Early Origins of the Geyer family

The surname Geyer was first found in Padeborn, in the ancient duchy of Saxony, where this family name became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. As early as 1288 Johann Gyr appears in mediaeval feudal documents as county ruler in Warburg. As old as these documents may be, the name is also associated with families of ancient nobility in Austria and Franconia (later Hessen). Always prominent in social affairs, the name Geyer became an integral part of that turbulent region as it emerged to form alliances with other families within the Feudal System and the nation.

Early History of the Geyer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Geyer research. Another 185 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1490, 1525, 1665, 1685 and 1743 are included under the topic Early Geyer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Geyer Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Geier, Geyer, Gayer, Gaier, Gire, Gyre, Geyre, Gayre, Geyr and many more.

Early Notables of the Geyer family

Prominent bearers of the family name Geyer at this time were

  • Florian Geyer (1490-1525), diplomat and soldier, fought on behalf of the Swabian League against Ulrich of Wuerttemberg, and later on the side of the peasants during the Peasant's War

Geyer Ranking

In the United States, the name Geyer is the 5,341st most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [1]

United States Geyer migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Geyer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Francis Geyer, aged 18, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 aboard the ship "Assurance" [2]
  • Hans Fried Geyer, who landed in Frederick County, Maryland in 1696 [2]
Geyer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Sebastian Geyer, who arrived in New York in 1709 [2]
  • Johann Jacob Geyer, who settled in Philadelphia in 1737
  • Joh Adam Geyer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1744 [2]
  • Johann Michael Geyer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1744 [2]
  • Wolf Caspar Geyer, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1749 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Geyer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Gouper Geyer, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1802 [2]
  • K. C. Geyer, who settled in Providence, Rhode Island in 1823
  • Charles Louis Geyer, aged 28, who arrived in Missouri in 1840 [2]
  • Bartholomew Geyer, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1840 [2]
  • David Geyer, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Geyer (post 1700) +

  • William Herbert "Bill" Geyer Jr. (1919-2004), American professional American football halfback
  • Gwynne Geyer, American opera tic soprano
  • Jacob Bowman "Rube" Geyer (1884-1962), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Georgie Anne Geyer (b. 1935), American journalist and columnist
  • Stephen Geyer (b. 1950), American songwriter
  • Henry Sheffie Geyer (1790-1859), American politician, lawyer, and soldier
  • John Geyer, American politician, Mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1813-14 [3]
  • Henry Sheffie Geyer (1790-1859), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives, 1820-24, 1834-35; U.S. Senator from Missouri, 1851-57 [3]
  • George Geyer, American politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Pike County, 1883-84 [3]
  • Albert F. Geyer, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for New York, 1908; Member of New York State Assembly from Erie County 3rd District, 1913-14 [3]
  • ... (Another 20 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook