Show ContentsSeelig History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Seelig is a ancient German name that originated in the Rhineland. While the Germans at first used only one name, population increases created confusion among people of the same name, forcing them to adopt hereditary surnames. Two common types of German names are patronymic names, taken from the given name of the father, and metronymic names, taken from the name of the mother. Seelig was derived from the baptismal name for the son of Selig, which originated as a pet form of several German personal names, including Salger, Salafrid and Selibrand.

Early Origins of the Seelig family

The surname Seelig was first found in the Rhineland, where the name emerged in mediaeval times as one of the notable families of the region. From the 13th century the surname was identified with the great social and economic evolution which made this Prussian territory an important factor in the development of the nation. The literal meaning of this name in its mediaeval context was "happy" or "cheerful." Ancient chronicles first mention a bearer of this name, one Godefrid Selicheit of the ancient imperial city of Worms, around 1196.

Early History of the Seelig family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Seelig research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1196, 1365, 1370, and 1464 are included under the topic Early Seelig History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Seelig Spelling Variations

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 Seelig include Selig, Seliger (Silesia), Seelig, Seeliger, Seelinger, Zelig, Seliche, Solige, Selege, Selik, Selich, Zelich, Zelik, Selligman, Seligman, Seligmann, Selichman and many more.

Early Notables of the Seelig family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Seelig Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Seelig migration to the United States +

Hundreds of thousands of Europeans, including many Rhinelanders, made the voyage to North America between the 17th and 20th centuries. It was an escape from religious persecution and poverty and also an opportunity for people to start over and own their own land. Most landed at Ellis Island, off New York before moving on to the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, and California. Some also landed in Canada and settled in Ontario, while others headed west to the prairie provinces. A study of passenger and immigration lists has shown a number of people bearing the name of Seelig, or one of its variants, reaching North America shores very early:

Seelig Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Johannes G. Seelig, who sailed to Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1694
Seelig Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johan Michael Seelig, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1754 [1]
  • Michael Seelig, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1754 [1]
Seelig Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Franz Seelig, aged 33, who arrived in Missouri in 1848 [1]
  • Adam Joseph Seelig, who arrived in America in 1853 [1]
  • John Seelig, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872 [1]
  • Simon Seelig, who arrived in Arkansas in 1873 [1]
  • Barrouch Seelig, who landed in Arkansas in 1890 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Seelig (post 1700) +

  • Tina Seelig (b. 1957), American educator, entrepreneur, and author of several books on creativity and innovation
  • Tim Seelig, American conductor, singer, and educator, Artistic Director of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus
  • Jennifer M. "Jen" Seelig (b. 1969), American politician, Member of the Utah House of Representatives (2006-2014)
  • Wyckham Seelig, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 2008 [2]
  • Lee D. Seelig, American politician, Member of Missouri State Senate 7th District, 1937-40 [2]
  • Joachim Seelig (b. 1942), German chemist and specialist in NMR Spectroscopy, one of the founding fathers of the Biozentrum of the University of Basel
  • Heinz Seelig (1909-1992), German-born, Israeli interior architect
  • Eric Seelig (1909-1984), German middleweight boxing champion in Germany in 1931 and light-heavyweight champion in 1933
  • Carl Seelig (1894-1962), German-Swiss writer, the first biographer of Albert Einstein
  • Andreas Seelig (b. 1970), German gold medalist discus thrower at the 1989 European Junior Championships
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  • Heinz Seelig (b. 1920), German Matrose who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck (1941) during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he survived the sinking [3]

  1. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 9) . Retrieved from
  3. Bismarck & Tirpitz Class - Crew List Bismarck. (Retrieved 2018, February 06). Retrieved from on Facebook