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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


Westfahl is a local name from the German region of Westphalia. Local names and other types of hereditary surnames began to be used in Germany after the 12th century. They were derived from the name of the place where the original bearer of the name lived. Sometimes local names bear the prefix "von", meaning "of" or "from". This was originally an indication of land-ownership, and was sometimes a mark of aristocracy. The family originally lived in Westphalia. The original bearer of this name was born in Westphalia, but acquired the name Westfahl after migrating to a different German territory. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came.

Westfahl Early Origins



The surname Westfahl was first found in Westphalia and the Rhineland, where the name could be considered to make a great early contribution to the feudal society which became the backbone of early development of Europe. The name Westphalen became prominent in local affairs, and branched into many houses which played important roles in the tribal and national conflicts, as each group sought power in a constantly changing territorial profile. The oldest branch of the family can be traced to the ducal house von Billung, which dates back to 960. From very early on the family emigrated to Pomerania and Mecklenburg, and chronicles first mention the individuals Egbert Westfal of Stralsund in 1294 and Johann Westfeleke of Greifswald in 1350.

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Westfahl Spelling Variations


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Westfahl 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 Westfahl include Westphall, Westphal, Westfehling, Fehling, Westfahl, Westfeleke (Silesia), Westphalen, Westfall and many more.

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Westfahl Early History


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Westfahl Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Westfahl research. Another 221 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1726, 1754, 1778, 1780, 1789, 1792, 1805, 1807, 1809, 1818, 1833, 1856, and 1890 are included under the topic Early Westfahl History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Westfahl Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Westfahl Early Notables (pre 1700)



Notables of the period with the name Westfahl were many prominent descendents of the House von Billung line. They include Clemens August Wilhelm von Westphalen (1726-1778), Privy Councellor at Hildesheim and Paderborn, his son Clemens August Wilhelm (1754-1818), Grand Prior of the St. Johann Order of Knights, who became Count of...

Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Westfahl Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



After 1650, thousands of German settlers came to North America to escape the religious persecution and poverty that wracked Europe and to make the most of the opportunity to own their own land in a new country. They settled across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California, and in Canada in Ontario and on the fertile plains of the prairie provinces. Among them: Peter Westphal, who came to Virginia in 1778; John Westfall arrived in Frederick County, Maryland in 1795; Christian Westphal arrived in Frederickstown, Pennsylvania in 1778 at the age of 27.

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Contemporary Notables of the name Westfahl (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Westfahl (post 1700)



  • Fred C. Westfahl Jr., American Republican politician, Member of Wisconsin State Assembly from Milwaukee County 4th District; Elected 1902
  • Charles F. Westfahl (b. 1885), American politician, Member of Wisconsin State Assembly from Milwaukee County 19th District, 1931-32, 1939-50

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Motto


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Motto



The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fais que dois, arrive que pourra
Motto Translation: Do you duty, come what may.


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Westfahl Family Crest Products


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Westfahl Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



    Other References

    1. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    2. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
    3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    4. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
    5. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmachers Wappenbuch. München, Battenberg: 1975. Print.
    6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    7. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
    8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    9. Steed, Henry Wickham . The Hapsburg Monarchy. London: Constable and Company, 1919. Print.
    10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    11. ...

    The Westfahl Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Westfahl 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 4 November 2015 at 11:10.

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