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Bavaria, one of the oldest and largest of the German states, is the birthplace of the Spangenberg family. After the 12th century, hereditary surnames were adopted according to fairly general rules. Names derived from occupations were particularly common in this region. Spangenberg is an occupational surname for metal worker having derived from the German word spange, meaning a clasp or buckle of the sort such a craftsman might have designed.


The surname Spangenberg was first found in Bavaria, where the name spread to the north and gained a significant reputation for its contribution to the emerging mediaeval society. It later became more prominent as many branches of the same house acquired distant estates and branches, some in foreign countries such as Holland, always elevating their social status by their great contributions to society.

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 Spangenberg include Spengler, Spengel, Spengele, Spengeler, Spenger (Munich), Spaengler, Spaengel, Spangeler, Spangler and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spangenberg research. Another 309 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1540, 1686, 1678, 1719, 1734, 1528, 1604, 1484 and 1550 are included under the topic Early Spangenberg History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Spangenberg Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Thousands of German settlers came to North America between the mid-17th and mid-20th centuries. The hardships of the long voyage were balanced by the opportunity to escape poverty and religious persecution. The descendents of these settlers still populate the states of Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many also live in Ontario and the prairie provinces of Canada. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Spangenberg or a variant listed above:

Spangenberg Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • August Gottlieb Spangenberg, who arrived in Georgia in 1735
  • Augustus G Spangenberg, who landed in Georgia in 1735
  • Augustus Spangenberg, who arrived in Georgia in 1739
  • Bishop A G Spangenberg, who arrived in New York, NY in 1744
  • A G Spangenberg, who landed in New York, NY in 1748
  • ...

Spangenberg Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Friedrich Spangenberg, aged 40, arrived in America in 1825
  • Christoph Spangenberg, who arrived in Texas in 1844
  • Ernestine Spangenberg, who landed in Texas in 1846
  • Henry Spangenberg, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1896

  • Gunner's Mate Kenneth J. Spangenberg (1922-1942), American seaman who died as a result of wounds suffered during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, eponym of the USS Spangenberg (DE/DER-223), a Buckley-class destroyer escort
  • George Spangenberg (1912-2000), American head of aircraft design in the United States Navy's Naval Air Systems Command, participated in the design and development of the original VFX/F-14 Tomcat
  • Craig Spangenberg (1914-1998), American trial attorney who founded the law firm now known as Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Doug Spangenberg, American music video director and documentary film maker
  • Lieutenant Frank Spangenberg (b. 1957), American game show celebrity who garnered a five-day cumulative winnings record on Jeopardy!, the first person to win more than $100,000 in five days on the show
  • Trevor Matthew Spangenberg (b. 1991), American professional soccer
  • August Gottlieb Spangenberg (1704-1792), German theologian and minister, Bishop of the Moravian Brethren
  • Hugo Hernán Spangenberg (b. 1975), Argentine chess grandmaster
  • Theunis Gerhardus Spangenberg (b. 1983), South African professional golfer

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    Other References

    1. Jones, George F. The Germans of Colonial Georgia 1733-1783 Revised edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0806311614).
    2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    4. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
    5. Preuss, Otto. Die Lippischen Familiennamen mit Berücksichtigung der Ortsnamen. Detmold: Meyer'sche Hofbuchh, 1887. Print.
    6. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
    7. Oswald, G. Lexicon der Heraldik. Leipzig: 1984. Print.
    8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    9. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
    10. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
    11. ...

    The Spangenberg Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Spangenberg 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 20 December 2015 at 21:26.

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