Oppenheim History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The bountiful region surrounding the Rhine river is the birthplace of the name Oppenheim. A single name was, at one time, all that people needed. However, increasing ease of travel and the burgeoning populations forced people to adopt a hereditary surname to set themselves apart from others. A common form of surname created in the Rhineland was the local name. Originally denoting the proprietorship of the village or estate, the German preposition von, which means from or of, was used with local names. The surname Oppenheim was given to someone who lived in the region of Oppenheim in the town of Hesse, between Mainz and Worms. Oppenheim 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. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties.
Early Origins of the Oppenheim family
The surname Oppenheim was first found in the Rhineland, where the name Oppenheim was closely identified in early mediaeval times with the feudal society that became prominent throughout Europe. The name later emerged as a noble family with great influence, having many distinguished branches that become noted for their involvement in social, economic and political affairs.
Important Dates for the Oppenheim family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oppenheim research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) covering the year 1867 is included under the topic Early Oppenheim History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Oppenheim Spelling Variations
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 Oppenheim include Oppenheim, Openheim, Oppennheim, Opennheim, Oppenheime, Oppenheimm, Oppenheimer and many more.
Early Notables of the Oppenheim family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Oppenheim Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Oppenheim 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 the Rhineland who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. Many of those who left the Rhineland to seek their fortunes in the prosperous and free New World settled in the major urban centers of the United States and Canada. In the United States, the settlers from the Rhineland passed through immigration centers like that of Ellis Island, most of them moving on to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, and New York. In Canada, the majority of Rhinelanders settled in Ontario and the prairie provinces. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many important settlers to North America bearing the name Oppenheim, or one of its variants above:
Oppenheim Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- J. Dieterich Oppenheim, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1753
Oppenheim Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- H. Oppenheim, who settled in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1828
- Louis Oppenheim, aged 33, who arrived in Missouri in 1844 
- Raphael Oppenheim, aged 22, who arrived in Missouri in 1844 
- Samuel Oppenheim, aged 26, who arrived in Missouri in 1844 
- Regina Oppenheim, aged 27, who landed in New York, NY in 1848 
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Oppenheim (post 1700)
- Alexander V. Oppenheim (1903-1997), British mathematician and university administrator
- Moritz Daniel Oppenheim (1800-1882), German painter
- Max von Oppenheim (1860-1946), German diplomat and archaeologist
- Hermann Oppenheim (1858-1919), German neurologist
- Meret Oppenheim (1913-1985), Swiss artist and lyricist
- Jill Arlyn Oppenheim (b. 1940), Hollywood actress known as Jill St. John
- James Oppenheim (1882-1932), US poet author and editor
- Edward Phillips Oppenheim (1866-1946), British author
- ^ 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)