Show ContentsWeis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Weis is a Bavarian nickname surname. German nicknames came from eke-names, or added names, and tended to describe a physical characteristic or other attribute of their initial bearer. Weis is a name for a person who had a pale complexion or fair colored hair. The surname Weis was derived from the German word weises, which meant white.

Early Origins of the Weis family

The surname Weis was first found in Bavaria, where the name 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, always elevating their social status by their great contributions to society. Chronicles first mention Nicolaus Weiser of Iglau in Bohemia in 1378.

Early History of the Weis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Weis research. Another 180 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1642, 1662, 1696, 1708, 1709, 1746, 1760, 1798, 1810, 1830, 1840, 1841, 1842, 1844, 1852 and 1867 are included under the topic Early Weis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Weis Spelling Variations

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 Weis include Weise, Weis, Weiser, Wise and others.

Early Notables of the Weis family

Prominent among members of the name Weis in this period include

  • Christian Weise (1642-1708), who was a renowned German author of moral tragedies, poetry, and comedies. Johann Conrad Weiser Sr. (1662-1746) was a German soldier, baker, and farmer who fled his homela...
  • Baron Carl Gottlieb Weis (b.1810), was the departmental head at the Austrian Ministry for Trade and Commerce, a knight of the Order of the Iron Crown, an Honored Citizen of the city Mies, made a baron...

Weis Ranking

In the United States, the name Weis is the 4,211st most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. 1

United States Weis migration to the United States +

European migration to North America began in the mid-17th century and continued unabated until the mid-20th. Many Bavarians made the long trip to escape poverty or persecution based on their religious beliefs. The chance for tenant farmers to own their own land was also a major drawing card. They settled all across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many came to Canada also, settling in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Weiss to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Weis Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mathias Weis, who arrived in New York, NY in 1710 2
  • Stephan Weis, who landed in New York, NY in 1710 2
  • Jacob Weis, who settled in Philadelphia in 1728
  • Johann Weis, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1731
  • Casper Weis, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1731 2
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Weis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Christ Gottl Weis, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804 2
  • Johann Weis, aged 22, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1845 2
  • Franz Weis, aged 21, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847 2
  • Heinrich Weis, aged 25, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1848 2
  • Georg Andreas Weis, aged 55, who arrived in New York, NY in 1849 2
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Weis (post 1700) +

  • Samuel Washington Weis (1870-1956), American cotton broker, painter and sketch artist
  • Joseph F. Weis Jr. (1923-2014), American senior judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • John Ellsworth Weis (1892-1962), American painter
  • Danny Weis (b. 1948), American guitarist, founding member of both Iron Butterfly and Rhinoceros
  • Albert John Weis (b. 1938), American former Major League Baseball infielder from Franklin Square, New York
  • Heinz Weis (b. 1963), German former hammer thrower

Suggested Readings for the name Weis +

  • The Ancestry of the Children of John Peter Carl Weis and Georgina Lewis by Frederick Lewis Weis.

  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) on Facebook