Westphalia. The tradition of adopting hereditary surnames came to Germany after the 12th century, and the names of places where people lived were a primary source. Many local names carry the prefix "von", meaning "of" or "from," which was originally an indicator of land ownership, and is sometimes a mark of nobility. The Hammerschmidt family originally lived in one of the numerous places in Germany named Ham or Hamm. Hammerschmidt 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. Hammerschmidt 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 Hammerschmidt is composed of the Old German word hamar, which means rock or crag and stein which means stone.
Early Origins of the Hammerschmidt family
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.
Early History of the Hammerschmidt family
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Hammerschmidt Spelling Variations
Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Hammerschmidt include Hammerstein, Hamerstein, Hahmmerstein, Hahmerstein, Haammerstein, Haamerstein, Haemmerstein, Haemerstein, Haehmmerstein, Haehmerstein and many more.
Early Notables of the Hammerschmidt family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Hammerschmidt family to the New World and Oceana
For many Germans, emigration to North America was an inviting alternative to the trials of life in the old country. From the mid-17th into the present century, thousands of Germans migrated across the Atlantic. They capitalized on the chance to escape poverty and persecution, and to own their own land. After 1650, Germans settled throughout the states of Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many also landed in Canada, settling in Ontario or father west on the rich land of the prairies. Among them:
Hammerschmidt Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Contemporary Notables of the name Hammerschmidt (post 1700)
The Hammerschmidt Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Spectemur agendo
Motto Translation: Let us be judged by our actions.
Hammerschmidt Family Crest Products