Westphal History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Nestled between the Rhine and Wesser rivers is the ancient German region of Westphalia. Westphalia, the home of the name Westphal. Hereditary surnames were adopted in this region after the 12th century, and surnames were derived from localities were common. Local surnames originally denoted the proprietorship of the village or estate. When coupled with the German preposition von, which means from or of, local names can indicate that the initial bearer of the name was an aristocrat. The Westphal family originally lived in Westphalia. The original bearer of this name was born in Westphalia, but acquired the name Westphal 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.

Early Origins of the Westphal family

The surname Westphal 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.

Early History of the Westphal family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Westphal research. Another 219 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1532, 1602, 1531, 1532, 1789, 1792, 1805, 1726, 1778, 1754, 1818, 1780, 1809, 1807, 1856, 1833 and are included under the topic Early Westphal History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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

Early Notables of the Westphal family (pre 1700)

Notables of the period with the name Westphal 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 the castle at Friedberg, and his...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Westphal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Westphal Ranking

In the United States, the name Westphal is the 5,290th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [1]

United States Westphal migration to the United States +

Many Germans emigrated across the Atlantic to seek better lives in North America. This great migration began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century. Resettlement was particularly attractive to those from Westphalia as a means of escape from poverty and religious persecution. For many Westphalian farmers, the chance to own one's own land was also a major incentive. The process of 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 settlements centered around Ontario and the Prairie provinces. Among them were:

Westphal Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jurgen Westphal, who arrived in New Netherland(s) in 1642 [2]
Westphal Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Christian Westphal, who landed in America in 1778 [2]
  • Peter Westphal, who settled in Virginia in 1778
  • Christian Westphal, who arrived in Frederickstown, Pennsylvania in 1778 at the age of 27
Westphal Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Maria Westphal, who settled in Texas in 1850
  • Emil Westphal, who arrived in New York, NY in 1850 [2]
  • Maria Westphal, who landed in Galveston, Tex in 1850 [2]
  • Philip Westphal, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1869 [2]
  • Fred C Westphal, aged 27, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1882 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Westphal migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Westphal Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • F J J Westphal, who landed in Quebec in 1850
  • Johann Westphal, aged 23, who landed in Quebec in 1868

Australia Westphal migration to Australia +

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

Westphal Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Wilhelm Westphal, aged 33, a carpenter, who arrived in South Australia in 1847 aboard the ship "Hermann von Beckerath" [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Westphal (post 1700) +

  • Paul Westphal (1950-2021), American NBA basketball player and coach, inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019
  • Johann Heinrich Westphal (1794-1831), German astronomer
  • Heinz Westphal (b. 1924), Minister of Labour and Social Affairs and Vice-President of the German Parliament
  • Karl Friedrich Otto Westphal (1833-1890), German neurologist and psychiatrist
  • Rudolf Westphal (1826-1892), German classical scholar
  • Admiral Sir George Westphal (1785-1875), British Naval officer, son of George Westphal, and younger brother of Admiral Philip Westphal; they descend from a noble Hanoverian family, whose uncle was tutor to the Duke of Kent [4]
  • Ernst Oswald Johannes Westphal (1919-1990), South African linguist

  • Reinhold Westphal (1921-1941), German Matrose who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he died in the sinking [5]

The Westphal 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.

  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HERMANN VON BECKERATH 1847. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1847HermanVonBeckerath.htm
  4. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 Jan. 2019
  5. ^ Bismarck & Tirpitz Class - Crew List Bismarck. (Retrieved 2018, February 06). Retrieved from https://www.bismarck-class.dk/bismarck/crew/bismarck_crew.html#crew_details

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