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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

The German province of Westphalia nestled between the Rhine and Wesser rivers, is the birthplace of the distinguished name Spiegel. In the German provinces, after the 12th century, hereditary surnames that were derived from occupations became increasingly widespread. Spiegel is an occupational name for a person who made or sold mirrors. This distinguished name was originally derived both from the German word "spiegel," which means "mirror" and from the Yiddish word "shpigl," which mean "to look" or "to see." The German word "spiegel" is itself derived from the Old German word "spiagal," from the Latin word "specullum."


The surname Spiegel was first found in Westphalia, where this noble family name, traced as early as 1100, became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. 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.

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 Spiegel include Spiegel, Spiegl, Spiegle, Spiegele, Spiegeler, Spiegler, Spiegelmann, Spiegelman, Spiegil, Spiegell, Spiegill, Spegel (northern Germany), Spigeler and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spiegel research. Another 294 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1252, 1257, 1396, 1558, 1764, 1776, 1787, 1805, 1835, and 1837 are included under the topic Early Spiegel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Notables of the period with the name Spiegel were Count Ferdinand August von Spiegel (1764-1835), of the House of Diesenberg-Hanxleden, who was the Archbishop of Cologne...

Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Spiegel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Many Germans emigrated across the Atlantic to seek better lives in North Ameri ca. This great migration began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century. Resettlement was particularly attractive to those from Westphalia as a means of escape from poverty and religious persecution. For many Westphalian farmers, the chance to own one's own land was also a major incentive. The process of the widespread colonization of the United States began in 1650, when many immigrants from Germany settled in pockets in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. In Canada, German settlements centered around Ontario and the Prairie provinces. Among them were:

Spiegel Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Johann Michael Spiegel, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1737
  • Michael Spiegel came to Philadelphia in 1741
  • Samuel Spiegel landed in Philadelphia in 1741
  • Samuel Spiegel, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1741
  • Philip Spiegel settled in Philadelphia in 1743
  • ...

Spiegel Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Adrian Spiegel came to Philadelphia in 1834
  • Nicholas Spiegel, aged 44, arrived in Missouri in 1840
  • Simon Spiegel, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1845
  • Solomon Spiegel landed in Philadelphia in 1848
  • Dorothea Spiegel, who landed in New York, NY in 1854
  • ...

Spiegel Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Caspar Spiegel, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1757

  • Murray Ralph Spiegel, American author of technical books on applied mathematics
  • Sam Spiegel (1901-1985), Austrian-born American independent film producer
  • Laurie Spiegel (b. 1945), American composer from Chicago
  • Edward A. Spiegel, American Rutherfurd Professor of Astronomy at Columbia University
  • Adam Spiegel (b. 1969), birth name Spike Jonze, an American Academy Award nominated director, producer and actor
  • Frederick S. Spiegel (1855-1925), American Republican politician, Common pleas court judge in Ohio 1st District, 1897; Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, 1914-15
  • Elliot Spiegel, American Democrat politician, Presidential Elector for Illinois, 1992
  • Edwin Spiegel, American politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984
  • Charlotte Spiegel, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1964
  • Andrew B. Spiegel, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for U.S. Senator from Illinois, 1992
  • ...

  • The Coffelt History Notebook by Robert K. Coffelt.

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    Other References

    1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    2. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    3. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Journeys German Immigration, Settlement and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
    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. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    6. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
    7. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
    8. 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).
    9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    11. ...

    The Spiegel Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Spiegel 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 11 November 2015 at 11:54.

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