Bavaria is the ancestral home of the Rathier family. Nickname surnames, such as Rathier, were derived from an eke-name, or added name. They usually reflected the physical characteristics or attributes of the first person that used the name. The family name Rathier is a name for a person associated with the color red. The name comes from the Old German word "rot," meaning "red," and could have indicated that its bearer had red hair or a red beard, lived in a red house, or often dressed in red clothes.
Early Origins of the Rathier family
Bavaria, where the name could be considered to have made a great contribution to the feudal society which became the backbone of modern Europe. The name became prominent in local affairs and branched into many houses which played important roles in the tribal and national conflicts, with each group seeking power and status in an ever changing territorial profile. Chronicles first mention the brothers Jeckel and Tilke Rote of Breslau in 1350, and Merklin der Rotter of Esslingen in 1307. Literally the name meant "red-haired" or "red-bearded," thus the oldest variation was possibly "Rothbart."
Early History of the Rathier family
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Rathier 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 Rathier include Rothe, Rote, Rot, Roth (southern Germany), Roter, Rother (Silesia), Rothe, Rothbart and many more.
Early Notables of the Rathier family (pre 1700)
Prominent among members of the name Rathier in this period include Johannes Rothe (1360-1434), a Thuringian priest who wrote instructional works on chivalry and heraldry and a history...
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Migration of the Rathier family to the New World and Oceana
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 Rathiers to arrive in North America, and among them were: Johann Roth, who sailed to Carolina and/or Pennsylvania in 1709. Among the several hundred family members who followed this first settler were: David Roth, who sailed to Pennsylvania in 1720.
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