An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The surname Letterman was an occupational name for a tanner, derived from the German word "lederaere," meaning "leather worker." While patronymic and metronymic surnames, which are derived from the name of the father and mother respectively, are the most common form of a hereditary surname in Germany, occupational surnames also emerged during the late Middle Ages. Many people, such as the Letterman family, adopted the name of their occupation as their surname.
The surname Letterman was first found in Austria, where the name was anciently associated with the tribal conflicts of the area. They declared allegiances to many nobles and princes of early history, lending their influence in struggles for power and status within the region. Chronicles first mention Heynke Lederer of Liegnitz in 1372, and Sigfrid der Ledergaerwe of Schorndorf in 1302. The family branched into many houses, and their contributions were sought by many leaders in their search for power.
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 Letterman include Lederer, Leder, Lederman, Ledermann, Lederle and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Letterman research. Another 321 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1723, 1778, 1795, 1842, and 1860 are included under the topic Early Letterman History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 99 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Letterman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
After the First World War, Austria became a republic. The Treaty of Versailles broke up the empire in 1919 and many of the Sudeten Germans were incorporated into the new nation of Czechoslovakia. In the 20th century, many Austrians migrated to other parts of Germany or Europe, as well as to North America. In the United States, the majority of settlers landed in Philadelphia, and moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Many German settlers also migrated to Canada, particularly Ontario and the Prairies. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Letterman were
Letterman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Letterman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
The Letterman Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Letterman 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 6 October 2013 at 14:42.