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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


Nestled between the Rhine and Wesser rivers is the ancient German region of Westphalia. Westphalia, the home of the name Hefler. In the German provinces, hereditary surnames were adopted after the 12th century, and names that were derived from localities became increasingly widespread. 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. However, in modern times, the preposition is frequently dropped from surnames of this type. The Hefler family originally lived on a farmstead. The name Hefler is derived from the Old German and German word hof, which means settlement, farm or court.

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The surname Hefler was first found in Westphalia, where the family contributed greatly to the development of an emerging nation.The name probably stems from the German word "Hof" meaning "court."

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 Hefler include Hof, Hoff, Hoffe, Hofer, Hoefer, Hoeffer, Hoffer, Hofle, Hoefe, Hofler, Hoefler, Hofner and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hefler research. Another 717 words (51 lines of text) covering the years 1440, 1829, 1378, 1662, 1773, 1629 and 1684 are included under the topic Early Hefler History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hefler Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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: Lorentz Hoff, who sailed to America in 1730; Gideon Hoffer sailed to Pennsylvania in 1732; Hans Jacob Hoff, who sailed to Pennsylvania in 1733; Conrad Hoffler to Pennsylvania in 1751.

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  1. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
  2. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
  5. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
  6. Götze, Alfred. Familiennamen im badischen Oberland. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1918. Print.
  7. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. Print. (ISBN 978-0806303024).
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
  10. Preuss, Otto. Die Lippischen Familiennamen mit Berücksichtigung der Ortsnamen. Detmold: Meyer'sche Hofbuchh, 1887. Print.
  11. ...

The Hefler Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hefler Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 23 May 2013 at 11:08.

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