Austria emerged a multitude of noble families, including the distinguished Trappen 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 Trappen is a nickname type of surname for an impish troublemaker having derived from the German word trappe, meaning rogue.
Early Origins of the Trappen family
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 Trappen family
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Trappen Spelling Variations
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 Trappen include Trapp, Trap, Trappe, Trapper, Traper, Trappl and many more.
Early Notables of the Trappen family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Trappen family to the New World and Oceana
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 Trappen or a variant listed above: Joseph Trapp, who settled in Philadelphia in 1859; and Heinrich Trappe, who settled in Texas in 1843.
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