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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

The German surname Schirmer emerged in the lands that formed the powerful German state of Prussia, which at one time was an immense German territory that stretched from France and the Low Countries to the Baltic sea and Poland. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the German territories were inhabited by a variety of Barbarian tribes. The borders of the Barbarian kingdoms changed frequently, but the region that became known as Prussia was roughly divided between the areas of Brandenburg-Prussia, West Prussia, and East Prussia. Brandenburg-Prussia was essentially the birthplace of modern Germany. By the 19th century, Brandenburg-Prussia had incorporated East Prussia, West Prussia and many other German territories. Moreover, in the late 19th century, it led the German states in German Unification.


The surname Schirmer was first found in Prussia, where this family name became a prominent contributor to the development of the many regions within Prussia in the Middle Ages. 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 Prussian 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 Schirmer include Schirrmann, Schirmann, Schirrman, Schuermann, Schurmann, Schurman, Scherman, Sherman (English), Schirmer and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Schirmer research. Another 325 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1390, 1396, 1783, 1825, 1623, 1686, 1829, 1893 and 1874 are included under the topic Early Schirmer History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 129 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Schirmer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Since medieval times, the state of Prussia has played an important part in the history of Germany. The state's military powers were historically very strong, and endured until after the Second World War, when the territory was broken up and divided between the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany. A spurt of migration followed, with some Prussians going elsewhere in Europe and many others crossing the ocean to North America. Most entered the United States through Philadelphia. Some remained there, while more moved on to the states of Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Others traveled to Canada and settled Ontario and the prairie provinces. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Schirmer or a variant listed above:

Schirmer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Peter Schirmer came to Philadelphia in 1750
  • Peter Schirmer, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1750
  • Georg Jacob Schirmer came to Philadelphia in 1751
  • Georg Jacob Schirmer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1751
  • Ernst Schirmer, who landed in America in 1778

Schirmer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Therese Schirmer, who arrived in America in 1839
  • Maria Schirmer, who landed in Galveston, Tex in 1845
  • Marie Schirmer went to Texas in 1845
  • Andreas Schirmer, who arrived in Texas in 1846
  • Friedricke Andreas Schirmer emigrated to Texas in 1846

Schirmer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Philippe Schirmer, who landed in Red River, Canada in 1821
  • Friedrich Schirmer, who arrived in Quebec in 1850


  • M. E. Schirmer, American politician, Mayor of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 1968-74
  • Ulf Schirmer (b. 1959), German conductor
  • Rudolf Schirmer (1831-1896), German ophthalmologist
  • Otto Schirmer (1864-1918), German ophthalmologist, eponym of Schirmer's test
  • Heinrich Ernst Schirmer (1814-1887), Norwegian-German architect
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Schirmer (1802-1866), German painter
  • Johann Wilhelm Schirmer (1807-1863), German painter
  • Hans Heinrich Theodor Schirmer (b. 1911), German Ambassador to Australia (1966-68) and to Austria (1970-74)
  • Markus Schirmer (b. 1963), Austrian pianist
  • Øistein Schirmer (1879-1947), Norwegian gymnast


The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Felix sua sorte contentus
Motto Translation: Happy, contented with his lot


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  1. Bahlow, Hans (Edda Gentry trns). Dictionary of German Names . Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-924119-35-7).
  2. 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).
  3. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
  4. Jones, Henry Z. Palatine Families of New York 2 Volumes. Rockland, ME: Picton Press, 2001. Print. (ISBN 978-0961388829).
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmachers Wappenbuch. München, Battenberg: 1975. Print.
  7. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  8. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
  9. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  10. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
  11. ...

The Schirmer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Schirmer 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 16 March 2016 at 13:57.

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