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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

The German state of Bavaria is the ancestral home of the Ochse family. Ochse is a local name, first used as a surname for 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 Ochse family is found in the Rhineland. Ochse 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."


The surname Ochse was first found in the Rhineland, where the Ochse 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 Ochse 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.

In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Ochse 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ochse research. Another 225 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1554, 1752, 1802, 1810, and 1821 are included under the topic Early Ochse History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Prominent among members of the name Ochse 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 Ochse Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


European migration to North America began in the mid-17th century and continued unabated until the mid-20th. Many Bavarians made the long trip to escape poverty or persecution based on their religious beliefs. The chance for tenant farmers to own their own land was also a major drawing card. They settled all across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many came to Canada also, settling in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Ochses to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Ochse Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Johannes Ochse, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1764
  • Conrad Ochse, who landed in New York, NY in 1782
  • Johann Heinrich Ochse, who arrived in New York, NY in 1782

Ochse Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Wilhelmina Ochse, who was living in Texas in 1854
  • Konrad Ochse, a Hessian mercenary who settled in America after fighting in the Revolutionary War

  • Weston Ochse (b. 1965), American Bram Stoker Award winning author and educator
  • Arthur Lennox Ochse (1899-1949), South African cricketer
  • Johannes Karl "Chum" Ochse (1925-1996), South African rugby union player

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    Other References

    1. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    2. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmacher's Grosses Wappenbuch 35 Volumes. Germany: Bauer & Raspe. Print.
    3. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Journeys German Immigration, Settlement and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
    4. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
    5. 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).
    6. Garland, Mary and Henry Garland Editions. Oxford Companion To German Literature 3rd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print. (ISBN 0198158963).
    7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    10. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
    11. ...

    The Ochse Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Ochse 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 May 2016 at 15:04.

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