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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

The German surname Metzinger emerged in the lands that formed the powerful German state of Prussia, which at one time was an immense territory that stretched from France and the Low Countries to the Baltic sea and Poland. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the German territories were inhabited by a variety of barbarian tribes. The borders of the barbarian kingdoms changed frequently, but the region that became known as Prussia was roughly divided between the areas of Brandenburg-Prussia, West Prussia, and East Prussia. By the 19th century, Brandenburg-Prussia had incorporated East Prussia, West Prussia and many other German territories. Moreover, in the late 19th century, it led the German states in the unification of Germany.


The surname Metzinger was first found in Prussia, where the family contributed greatly to the development of an emerging nation, and would later play a large role in the tribal and national conflicts of the area. The name stems from two sources which were continually mixed up throughout the Middle Ages, so they can no longer be differentiated: one was Matthaeus the Evangelist, who was patron saint of tax collectors, and the other was Mattias ( Hebrew for "gift of the gods",) who was one of the twelve Apostles. In later years the name branched into many houses, each playing a significant role in local social and political affairs.

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 Metzinger include Mathias, Matthias, Mathius, Matthius, Matheus, Mathesius, Matheson, Matthisson, Mathies, Mathiessen, Thiessen and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Metzinger research. Another 291 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1727, 1710, 1558, 1504, 1565, 1681, 1764, 1681, 1764, 1761, 1831, 1809 and 1811 are included under the topic Early Metzinger History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Prominent bearers of the family name Metzinger during this time period were Johannes Mathesius (1504-1565), who was a friend and disciple of Martin Luther. He is the author of the first biography of Luther, and himself wrote hymns and sermons. Johann Mattheson (1681-1764) was a musician and translator and produced the...

Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Metzinger Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


The state of Prussia was a great influence on the shape of modern Germany. After the Second World War, Prussia's land was divided among the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany and the state was abolished. Some Prussians remained in those countries after the war, while many others migrated to North America in search of a new start. Philadelphia was their primary point of entry to the United States, after which many of them moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. A large number of Prussians also migrated to Ontario and the prairie provinces as United Empire Loyalists. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Metzingers to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Metzinger Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Louise Metzinger, aged 22, who settled in America, in 1894

Metzinger Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Jacob Metzinger, aged 26, who landed in America from Saarbrucken, Germany, in 1907
  • Adam Metzinger, aged 36, who landed in America from Sardany, Hungary, in 1909
  • Barbara Metzinger, aged 32, who landed in America from Sardany, Hungary, in 1909
  • Therese Metzinger, aged 48, who landed in America, in 1910
  • Adam Metzinger, aged 48, who emigrated to America from Pardany, Roumania, in 1921
  • ...

  • Kraig Metzinger (1963-1977), American actor, best known for his teenage role as Phillip Trainor on the 1977-1978 sitcom Maude
  • Thomas Metzinger (b. 1958), German philosopher
  • Jean Metzinger (1883-1956), French painter, theorist, writer, critic and poet

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    Other References

    1. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    2. Neubecker, Ottfried. Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon der bürgerlichen Geschlechter Deutschlands, Oesterreichs und der Schweiz. Battenberg, München: 1985. Print.
    3. Garland, Mary and Henry Garland Editions. Oxford Companion To German Literature 3rd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print. (ISBN 0198158963).
    4. Strassburger, Ralph B. German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
    5. Steed, Henry Wickham . The Hapsburg Monarchy. London: Constable and Company, 1919. Print.
    6. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
    7. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
    8. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmacher's Grosses Wappenbuch 35 Volumes. Germany: Bauer & Raspe. Print.
    9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    10. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
    11. ...

    The Metzinger Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Metzinger 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 15 December 2014 at 16:45.

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