The bountiful region surrounding the Rhine river is the birthplace of the name Opperman. 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 found in the Rhineland
was the local
name, a name taken on from a place-name. Originally denoting the proprietorship of a village or estate, the German preposition von, which means from or of, used with local names, was taken as a mark of aristocracy. The surname Opperman was given to someone who lived in the region of Oppenheim
in the town of Hesse, between Mainz and Worms. Opperman 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 Opperman family
The surname Opperman 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.
Early History of the Opperman family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Opperman research.Another 82 words (6 lines of text) covering the year 1867 is included under the topic Early Opperman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Opperman 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 Opperman include Oppenheim, Openheim, Oppennheim, Opennheim, Oppenheime, Oppenheimm, Oppenheimer and many more.
Early Notables of the Opperman family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Opperman family to the New World and Oceana
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 Opperman, or one of its variants above: J. Dieterich Oppenheim, who settled in Philadelphia, Pa. in 1753; H. Oppenheim, who came to Charleston, South Carolina, in 1828; B. Oppenheim, who came to San Francisco in 1851.
Contemporary Notables of the name Opperman (post 1700)
- Dwight Opperman (1924-2013), American publishing executive and philanthropist, CEO of West Publishing, a business unit of Thomson Reuters
- George Opperman (1935-1985), American graphic artist at Atari who created the original Atari logo
- Kalmen Opperman (1919-2010), American clarinetist
- Jan Opperman (1939-1997), American racecar driver
- Aloísio Roque Opperman (1936-2014), Brazilian Roman Catholic bishop, Archbishop of Uberaba
- Ashley Opperman (b. 1983), South African football defender
- Guy Opperman (b. 1965), British Conservative Party politician
- Diederik Johannes Opperman (1914-1985), one of the best-known Afrikaans poet
- Chris Opperman (b. 1978), award-winning Dutch composer
- Frank Opperman (b. 1960), South African actor and musician
- ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
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