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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Nestled between the Rhine and Wesser rivers is the ancient German region of Westphalia. Westphalia, the home of the name Sass. In the German provinces, hereditary surnames were adopted after the 12th century, and names that were derived from localities became increasingly widespread. Local surnames originally denoted the proprietorship of the village or estate. When coupled with the German preposition von, which means from or of, local names can indicate that the initial bearer of the name was an aristocrat. However, in modern times, the preposition is frequently dropped from surnames of this type. The Sass family originally lived in Saxony. The original bearer of the name Sass was a person that was born or that had lived in the region of Lower (northern) Saxony, which is essentially the modern German state named Saxony. This name would have been given to the original bearer of the name after they had migrated from Lower Saxony to another region of Germany, namely Westphalia. The Saxons, who were a Germanic tribe, dwelled in northern Germany and along the Baltic coast during the Roman era. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Saxons migrated south and west. By the 5th century, the Saxon and Angle tribes held most of England. The Saxon language became one of the precursors of the English language.


The surname Sass was first found in Westphalia, where this family name became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. Always prominent in social affairs, the name became an integral part of that turbulent region as it emerged to form alliances with other families within the Feudal System and the nation.

One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Sass include Sasse, Sass, Sasser, Sase, Saser, Sassen, Sasen, Zasse, Zasser and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sass research. Another 187 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1779 and 1814 are included under the topic Early Sass History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sass Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Many Germans emigrated across the Atlantic to seek better lives in North Ameri ca. This great migration began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century. Resettlement was particularly attractive to those from Westphalia as a means of escape from poverty and religious persecution. For many Westphalian farmers, the chance to own one's own land was also a major incentive. The process of 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 settlements centered around Ontario and the Prairie provinces. Among them:

Sass Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Franz Sass, who landed in America in 1846
  • Heinrich Sass, who arrived in New York, NY in 1850
  • Wilhelm Sass, who landed in New York, NY in 1850
  • Johann Sass arrived in Texas in 1855
  • Peter Sass, who arrived in Colorado in 1871
  • ...

Sass Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Stach Sass, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1899

  • Jonathan "Jon" Sass (b. 1961), American jazz tuba player and composer
  • Hans-Martin Sass (b. 1935), German bioethicist
  • Katrina Von Sass (b. 1972), retired Canadian female volleyball player
  • Richard Sass (1774-1849), English landscape painter, etcher, and drawing master to royalty
  • Anatoly Fomich Sass (b. 1935), Russian Olympic rower
  • Paul Sass (b. 1988), English mixed martial artist
  • Henry Sass (1788-1844), English artist and teacher of painting
  • Sylvia Sass (b. 1951), well-known opera soprano from Hungary

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    Other References

    1. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
    2. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
    3. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
    4. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    7. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
    8. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
    9. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    10. 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).
    11. ...

    The Sass Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Sass 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 23 August 2015 at 16:33.

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