The ancestral home of the Scharffs family is in the German province of Bavaria
. Scharffs is a German nickname
surname. Such names came from eke-names, or added names, that described their initial bearer through reference to a physical characteristic or other attribute. It is a name for a sharp or quick witted person. The name stems from the German word "scharf," meaning "sharp."
Early Origins of the Scharffs family
The surname Scharffs was first found in Bavaria
, where the name was anciently associated with the tribal conflicts of the area. They declared allegiances to many nobles and princes of early history, lending their influence in struggles for power and status within the region. Chronicles first mention Sigehard Scharf of Bavaria
in 1060, and Hainrich Scharpf of Wuerttemberg in 1330. Later the various families branched into many houses, and their contributions were sought by many leaders in their search for power.
Early History of the Scharffs family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Scharffs research.Another 211 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1537, 1769, 1792, 1813, and 1851 are included under the topic Early Scharffs History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Scharffs 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 Scharffs include Scharff, Scharfe, Scharfer, Scharf and others.
Early Notables of the Scharffs family (pre 1700)
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Scharffs Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Scharffs family to the New World and Oceana
Between the mid-17th and mid-20th centuries, German settlers arrived in North America by the thousands. Persecution based on religion and poverty were great motivators in this large-scale migration. So too was the opportunity for tenant
farmers to own their own land. Ample land and opportunity awaited the settlers who went to such states as Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California, as well as Ontario and the prairie provinces of Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Scharffs or a variant listed above: Antonius Scharf, who came to New York State in 1710; Johannes Scharf came to Philadelphia in 1747; as well as A. Margretha Scharfer in 1780; Conrath Scharff arrived in Philadelphia in 1732.
Contemporary Notables of the name Scharffs (post 1700)
- Gilbert Woodrow Scharffs (b. 1930), American Latter-day Saint religious educator and author
- Brett Gilbert Scharffs (b. 1963), American lawyer and professor, Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs at the J. Reuben Clark Law School of Brigham Young University, son of Gilbert W. Scharffs