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

Origins Available: Dutch, German


Nestled between the Rhine and Wesser rivers is the ancient German region of Westphalia. Westphalia, the home of the name Horstman. 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 Horstman family originally lived near or in a hurst, which is a wood or thicket. Thus, Horstman is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree.

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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 Horstman include Horst, Horste, Horsst, Horsste, Horest, Horeste, Horstt and many more.

First found in Westphalia, where the name Horst contributed greatly to the development of an emerging nation. The name appears in chronicles of 1292, which place Berthold von der Horst, a knight, at the family seat in the county of Recklingshausen. They eventually formed three main lines of descent: the von der Horst zu Horst, von der Horst zum Hauss und zu Milsen, and von der Horst zu Mudlinghoven und Hellenbruch. The names of these lines come from the intermarriage with the Hauss family, or from the name of the estates in their possession.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Horstman research. Another 145 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1664 and 1741 are included under the topic Early Horstman History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 23 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Horstman 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 were:

Horstman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Catrina Horstman, who settled in Baltimore in 1833
  • Catherine Horstman, who arrived in Baltimore in 1834
  • Dorothea Horstman, who arrived in Baltimore in 1834
  • Christopher Horstman, who settled in America in 1854
  • Gerhardt Horstman, who arrived in Illinois in 1857


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  • Catherine "Katie" Horstman (b. 1935), former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player


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  1. Steed, Henry Wickham . The Hapsburg Monarchy. London: Constable and Company, 1919. Print.
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Oswald, G. Lexicon der Heraldik. Leipzig: 1984. Print.
  6. Preuss, Otto. Die Lippischen Familiennamen mit Berücksichtigung der Ortsnamen. Detmold: Meyer'sche Hofbuchh, 1887. Print.
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmachers Wappenbuch. München, Battenberg: 1975. Print.
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  11. ...

The Horstman Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Horstman 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 4 December 2012 at 17:13.

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