Witke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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The German surname Witke emerged in the lands that formed the powerful German state of Prussia, which at one time was an immense German territory that stretched from France and the Low Countries to the Baltic sea and Poland. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the German territories were inhabited by a variety of Barbarian tribes. The borders of the Barbarian kingdoms changed frequently, but the region that became known as Prussia was roughly divided between the areas of Brandenburg-Prussia, West Prussia, and East Prussia. Brandenburg-Prussia was essentially the birthplace of modern Germany. By the 19th century, Brandenburg-Prussia had incorporated East Prussia, West Prussia and many other German territories. Moreover, in the late 19th century, it led the German states in the unification of Germany.
Early Origins of the Witke family
The surname Witke was first found in the territory of Neumark east of the Electorate of Brandenburg, where the name was closely identified in early mediaeval times with the feudal society that played a prominent role throughout European history. The name would later emerge as a noble family with great influence, having many distinguished branches in Northern Germany, and become recognized for its participation in social, economic, and political affairs.
Early History of the Witke family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Witke research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1795, 1816, 1660, 1717, 1771 and 1837 are included under the topic Early Witke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Witke Spelling Variations
In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Witke include Witte, Witter, Wittek (Silesia), Witt (Holland) and others.
Early Notables of the Witke family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Witke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Witke family
Much of German history has been shaped by the state of Prussia. It was an enduring military power until after the Second World War. At that time, the state was abolished altogether and its land divided between the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany. While some Prussians were content to remain in those countries, others moved away, many of them migrating to North America. They entered the United States mostly through Philadelphia, moving on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Others went to Canada, settling on the prairies and in the province of Ontario. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were: Christopher Witt, who came to Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1704; as did Jost Witt in 1754; and Johann Diedrich Witte in 1753; Wilhelm Witte arrived in Texas in 1852.
Contemporary Notables of the name Witke (post 1700) +
- Ryszard Witke (1939-2020), Polish ski jumper who competed at the 1964 Winter Olympics and the 1968 Winter Olympics
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