Och History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Och family name first began to be used in the German state of Bavaria. After the 12th century, as hereditary surnames began to be adopted, names that were derived from locations became particularly common. The family name Och is a local surname. Originally denoting the proprietorship of an estate or influence within a village, the German preposition von, which means from or of, used with local names, was taken as a mark of aristocracy. The surname Och was given to someone who lived in Franconia, where their name rose to prominence through their involvement in the social and cultural affairs of the area. Their seat and land holdings were in the free canton of Gebuerg. The ancestral home of the Och family is found in the Rhineland. Och is of several possible origins, all of which derive from a common root; the name comes from the Middle High German ochs, meaning "ox." It may have originated from a nickname, referring to "one as stubborn as an ox." Alternatively, the original bearer of the name may have been someone who kept or sold oxen. Finally, the surname may be derived from a place of residence distinguished by a sign; in this case, the name would indicate "one who dwelled in the house with the sign of the ox."

Early Origins of the Och family

The surname Och was first found in the Rhineland, where the Och family became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. The earliest known bearer of the name was Hans Ochslin, who was a resident of Waldsee in 1536. Always prominent in social affairs, the young Och family became an integral part of that turbulent region as it emerged to form alliances with other families within the Feudal System and the nation.

Early History of the Och family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Och research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1554, 1752, 1802, 1810, and 1821 are included under the topic Early Och History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Och 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 Och include Ochs, Ochss, Ochse, Och, Ochsse, Ocks, Ockss, Ockse, Ocksse, Osse (northern Germany), Oexle (Swabia), Oxle (Swabia), Oechsle, Ochsner, Exline, Echslin, Oxle, Ochslein ("little ox") and many more.

Early Notables of the Och family (pre 1700)

Prominent among members of the name Och in this period include Peter Ochse from Gieselfeld (around 1554), a member of the Danish branch of the family who moved to Ravensburg where he became a major in the Bavarian army. According to Saxon...
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Och Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Och migration to the United States +

The great European flow of migration to North America, which began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century, was particularly attractive to those from Bavaria who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. For many Bavarian tenant farmers, the chance to own their own land was a major incentive. So 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 settlement centered in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were:

Och Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Isaac Och, aged 21, who landed in Louisiana in 1797 [1]
Och Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Simon Och, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Och (post 1700) +

  • Daniel Och, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Och-Ziff Capital Management Group
  • Philip David Och (1940-1976), American protest singer
  • Louise Maria Och (b. 1914), who came from Augsburg to become a head nurse and then vice-president of a tile company in Miami


  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)


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