Show ContentsHammerstein History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Hammerstein is a local name from the German region of Westphalia. Local names came to Germany with other types of hereditary surnames after the 12th century. They were derived from the name of the place where the original bearer of the name lived. Sometimes local names bear the prefix "von", meaning "of" or "from". It was an indication of land-ownership, and was sometimes taken as a mark of aristocracy. The family originally lived in one of the numerous places in Germany named Ham or Hamm. Hammerstein 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. Hammerstein 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 Hammerstein is composed of the Old German word hamar, which means rock or crag and stein which means stone.

Early Origins of the Hammerstein family

The surname Hammerstein 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.

Early History of the Hammerstein family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hammerstein research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1611, 1675, 1635, 1639 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Hammerstein History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hammerstein Spelling Variations

Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Hammerstein include Hammerstein, Hamerstein, Hahmmerstein, Hahmerstein, Haammerstein, Haamerstein, Haemmerstein, Haemerstein, Haehmmerstein, Haehmerstein and many more.

Early Notables of the Hammerstein family (pre 1700)

Notables of the period with the name Hammerstein were Andreas Hammerschmidt (1611-1675), the "Orpheus of Zittau," German composer and organist. He was born at Brix in Bohemia. In 1635 he became organist at Freiberg in Saxony, and in 1639 exchanged that post for a similar one at Zittau in Oberlausitz, where he remained till his death on Oct. 29, 1675. His epitaph describes him...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hammerstein Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Hammerstein migration to the United States +

After 1650, thousands of German settlers came to North America to escape the religious persecution and poverty that wracked Europe and to make the most of the opportunity to own their own land in a new country. They settled across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California, and in Canada in Ontario and on the fertile plains of the prairie provinces. Among them:

Hammerstein Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jacob Hammerstein who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754
  • Jacob Hammerstein, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754 [1]
Hammerstein Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Hammerstein, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1857 [1]
  • Joh Adam Hammerstein, who landed in America in 1868 [1]
  • Johann Adam Hammerstein, accompanied by his wife, Margarethe Ramroth, who arrived in America in 1868

Contemporary Notables of the name Hammerstein (post 1700) +

  • William "Willie" Hammerstein (1875-1914), American theater manager, son of Oscar Hammerstein I
  • Arthur Hammerstein (1872-1955), American Jewish songwriter, dramatist, playwright and theater manager, father of Elaine Hammerstein, son of Oscar Hammerstein I
  • Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960), American librettist, lyricist, producer and publisher; he wrote eighteen musicals which include "Showboat," "Oklahoma," "The King and I," and "The Sound of Music," member of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical theatre writing team that garnered thirty-four Tony Awards, fifteen Academy Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and two Grammy Awards
  • Oscar Hammerstein I (1847-1919), German-American theatre impresario, grandfather of Oscar Hammerstein II and the father of William Hammerstein and Arthur Hammerstein
  • Elaine Hammerstein (1897-1948), American silent film and stage actress, granddaughter of Oscar Hammerstein I
  • Andy Hammerstein, American artist
  • David Hammerstein Mintz (b. 1955), American-born, Spanish politician and former Member of the European Parliament

The Hammerstein 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.

  1. 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) on Facebook