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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the German Selich family come from? What is the German Selich family crest and coat of arms? When did the Selich family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Selich family history?

The surname Selich 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. Selich 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.

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

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Selich research. Another 159 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1196, 1365, 1370, and 1464 are included under the topic Early Selich History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 23 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Selich Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 Selich, or one of its variants above: Johannes G. Seelig, who sailed to Germantown, Pa. in 1694; Johann Selig, who sailed to Philadelphia in 1751; J.H. Selligman to Philadelphia in 1753; Barbara Selig to Texas in 1844.

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  1. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  2. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Götze, Alfred. Familiennamen im badischen Oberland. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1918. Print.
  5. Bahlow, Hans (Edda Gentry trns). Dictionary of German Names . Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-924119-35-7).
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Kapff, Rudolf. Schwäbische Geschlechtsnamen. Stuttgart: Verlag Silberburg, 1927. Print.
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Selich Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Selich 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 27 October 2010 at 13:58.

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