Hamerstein History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Nestled between the Rhine and Wesser rivers is the ancient German region of Westphalia. Westphalia, the home of the name Hamerstein. Hereditary surnames were adopted in this region after the 12th century, and surnames were derived from localities were common. Local surnames originally denoted the proprietorship of the village or estate. When coupled with the German preposition von, which means from or of, local names can indicate that the initial bearer of the name was an aristocrat. The Hamerstein family originally lived in one of the numerous places in Germany named Ham or Hamm. Hamerstein is also a Jewish surname particularly associated with the town of Hammerstein, in what was formerly East Prussia, which once had a large Jewish population. Hamerstein is a topographic surname, a type of local surname that was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. The toponym Hamerstein is composed of the Old German word hamar, which means rock or crag and stein which means stone.

Early Origins of the Hamerstein family

The surname Hamerstein was first found in Westphalia, where the name Hammerstein emerged in mediaeval times as one of the notable families of the region. From the 13th century the surname was identified with the great social and economic evolution which made this territory a landmark contributor to the development of the nation.

Important Dates for the Hamerstein family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hamerstein research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1611 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Hamerstein History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hamerstein 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 Hamerstein include Hammerstein, Hamerstein, Hahmmerstein, Hahmerstein, Haammerstein, Haamerstein, Haemmerstein, Haemerstein, Haehmmerstein, Haehmerstein and many more.

Early Notables of the Hamerstein family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Hamerstein Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Hamerstein family

Many Germans emigrated across the Atlantic to seek better lives in North America. This great migration began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century. Resettlement was particularly attractive to those from Westphalia as a means of escape from poverty and religious persecution. For many Westphalian farmers, the chance to own one's own land was also a major incentive. The process of the widespread colonization of the United States began in 1650, when many immigrants from Germany settled in pockets in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. In Canada, German settlements centered around Ontario and the Prairie provinces. Among them were: Jacob Hammerstein who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754; Samuel Hammerstein who arrived in Washington County, Pa. in 1857; Johann Adam Hammerstein, accompanied by his wife, Margarethe Ramroth, who arrived in America in 1868.

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