Show ContentsTrapp History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

From the historical and enchanting region of Austria emerged a multitude of noble families, including the distinguished Trapp family. Originally, the Austrian people were known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames were adopted in Austria is extremely interesting. Surnames evolved during the Middle Ages when people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Often they adopted names that were derived from nicknames. Nickname surnames were derived from an eke-name, or added name. They usually reflected the physical characteristics or attributes of the first person that used the name. The name Trapp is a nickname type of surname for an impish troublemaker having derived from the German word trappe, meaning rogue.

Early Origins of the Trapp family

The surname Trapp was first found in the Austrian province of Styria, moving later to Tyrol, where the name became noted for its many branches with the region, each house acquiring a status and influence which was envied and enrolled by the princes of the region. They possessed their family seat Trappenburg in the region of Leutschbach since ancient times. In their later history the name became a power unto themselves and were elevated to the ranks of nobility as they grew into this most influential family. Chronicles first mention Hans Trapp of Stetbach in 1388, and Cuncz Trap of Wuerzburg in 1409.

Early History of the Trapp family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Trapp research. Another 295 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1655, 1691, 1709, 1762 and 1819 are included under the topic Early Trapp History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Trapp 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 Trapp include Trapp, Trap, Trappe, Trapper, Traper, Trappl and many more.

Early Notables of the Trapp family

During this period prominent bearers of the name Trapp were

  • Carl Trapp of Pisain, who was the Tyrolian Ambassador to Spain in the 17th century

Trapp Ranking

In the United States, the name Trapp is the 3,456th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [1]

United States Trapp migration to the United States +

Austria was made a republic after the First World War. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was broken up by the Treaty of Versailles and many of its people found themselves in the new nation of Czechoslovakia. Many other Austrians and expatriate Austrians made their way to North America in the 20th century. Most landed in Philadelphia, later continuing on to the states of Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Some Austrian settlers also went to western Canada and Ontario. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Trapp or a variant listed above:

Trapp Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Stephen Trapp, who arrived in Virginia in 1657 [2]
Trapp Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Philip Trapp, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1761 [2]
  • Margriatha Trapp, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1795 [2]
Trapp Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Andreas Trapp, who landed in Ohio in 1831 [2]
  • Albrecht H Trapp, who arrived in St Clair County, III in 1842 [2]
  • Andrew Trapp, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1846 [2]
  • Mary Trapp, aged 21, who landed in New York in 1854 [2]
  • Ottillie Trapp, aged 3, who arrived in New York, NY in 1856 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Trapp migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Trapp Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Trapp, (b. 1798), aged 21, English convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Asiatic" on 5th June 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Mr. John Trapp who was convicted in Devon, England for life, transported aboard the "Circassian" on 4th November 1832, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Mary Trapp, aged 16, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Elgin" [5]
  • Mary Trapp, aged 16, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Elgin" in 1849 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Trapp (post 1700) +

  • James Trapp (b. 1969), American gold medalist sprinter and former NFL football player (1993-2003)
  • Rosmarie Agathe Erentrudis Trapp (1929-2022), née von Trapp, American singer, teacher, and missionary, first daughter of Maria von Trapp and Georg von Trapp of the 'Sound of Music' family
  • Eric Joseph Trapp (1910-1993), South African Anglican Bishop of Zululand, then Bishop of Bermuda and Dean of the Cathedral (1970-75)
  • Albert F. Trapp (d. 1953), Canadian politician, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba for St. Clements (1950-1953)
  • Joseph Burney Trapp (b. 1925), British Librarian at the Warburg Institute in London, and then became the Vice-President of the British Academy (1983-85)
  • Korvettenkapitän Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp (1880-1947), patriarch of the Austrian singing family portrayed in "The Sound of Music", recipient of the Military Order of Maria Theresa
  • Maria Agatha Franziska Gobertina von Trapp (1914-2014), second-oldest daughter of Georg and Agatha (née Whitehead) von Trapp

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from
  4. Convict Records of Australia. Retrieved 8th February 2021 from
  5. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ELGIN 1849. Retrieved from on Facebook