Bavaria. After the 12th century, as hereditary surnames began to be adopted, names that were derived from locations became particularly common. The family name Waldau is a local surname. Originally denoting the proprietorship of an estate or influence within a village, the German preposition von, which means from or of, used with local names, was taken as a mark of aristocracy. The surname Waldau was given to someone who lived in or near the woods.
Early Origins of the Waldau family
Germany, as well as one of the largest landowners. They originate from their ancestral castle named Waldau which lies in northern Bavaria on the border to Franconia. Because of this proximity to Franconia, family members were listed in both Bavarian and Franconian chronicles of chivalry. Besides the castle Waldau, the family owned the castles Pleystein (Bleistein) and Waldthurn in Bavaria. In the 10th century the family extended into the Lausitz (Lusatia) after the Serbs of this region were conquered by Kaiser Heinrich I. They built the castle Waldau in the Upper-Lausitz three miles from Goerlitz. Without a doubt, the most famous of the family in early times was Peter Waldo, Valdo, Valdes, or Waldes (c. 1140 - c. 1205), the founder of the Waldensians, an early Christian spiritual movement of the Middle Ages.
Early History of the Waldau family
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Waldau 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 Waldau include Waldau, Waldauer, Waldov, Waldauw, Waldowe, Waldow, Waldo (English), Waldaw, Walde, Zumwalt, Zumwald, Zumwalde and many more.
Early Notables of the Waldau family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Waldau family to the New World and Oceana
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 Bavaria who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. For many Bavarian tenant farmers, the chance to own their own land was a major incentive. So 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 settlement centered in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were: Andrew Zumwalt, who came to Texas in 1836; Wilhelm Zumwalde, who immigrated to Kentucky in 1839; Gotz Lazarus Waldauer, who came to Philadelphia in 1844.
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