Show ContentsSeelinger History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Seelinger 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. Seelinger 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 Seelinger family

The surname Seelinger 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 Seelinger family

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

Seelinger Spelling Variations

In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Seelinger 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 Seelinger family

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

United States Seelinger migration to the United States +

The great European flow of migration to North America, which began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century, was particularly attractive to those from the Rhineland who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. Many of those who left the Rhineland to seek their fortunes in the prosperous and free New World settled in the major urban centers of the United States and Canada. In the United States, the settlers from the Rhineland passed through immigration centers like that of Ellis Island, most of them moving on to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, and New York. In Canada, the majority of Rhinelanders settled in Ontario and the prairie provinces. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many important settlers to North America bearing the name Seelinger, or one of its variants above:

Seelinger Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • A Marie Seelinger, aged 19, who landed in New York, NY in 1847 1
  • Anna Seelinger, aged 19, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847 1
  • Johan Seelinger, aged 36, who landed in New York, NY in 1850 1
  • E. G. Seelinger, who settled in Texas in 1851
  • Jacob Seelinger, who settled in New York in 1899

  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) on Facebook