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In the ancient German province of Westphalia, the surname Yeager evolved. It is a nickname, a style of hereditary surname that developed out of the traditional German eke-names, that identified people by naming them after a physical characteristic or other identifiable trait. Yeager is a name for a person who was known for his prowess and wisdom as a hunter. The name Yeager is derived from the German word "jage," which is derived from Old German word "jagen," which means "to hunt." Hunting was considered a knightly pursuit during the feudal era.

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The surname Yeager was first found in the county of Mark (Dortmund,) where the family was anciently associated with the political and religious conflicts of the area. They declared allegiances to many nobles and princes of early history, lending their influence in struggles for power and status within the region. The family founded numerous branches, many of which acquired manors and estates in surrounding regions, where they contributed to the prosperity of their society. Ancient chronicles first mention a branch of the family acquiring the estates of Kaackstedt and Ringenwalde in the district of Templin around 1376, and the estate of Zehlendorf in the district of Nieder-Barnim, around 1451. Venator, the Latin form of the name, often appears in chronicles in place of Jaeger.

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 Yeager include Jaeger, Jeger, Jager, Jaegger, Jegger, Jagger, Jaegers, Jagers, Jaggers, Jaeggers and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Yeager research. Another 381 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1678, 1698, 1771, 1780, and 1843 are included under the topic Early Yeager History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Yeager Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many Germans, emigration to North America was an inviting alternative to the trials of life in the old country. From the mid-17th into the present century, thousands of Germans migrated across the Atlantic. They capitalized on the chance to escape poverty and persecution, and to own their own land. After 1650, Germans settled throughout the states of Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many also landed in Canada, settling in Ontario or father west on the rich land of the prairies. Among them:

Yeager Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Johannes Yeager, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1743
  • Andreas Yeager, who arrived in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania in 1764
  • George Yeager, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1765
  • John Yeager, who landed in Frederick County, Maryland in 1767
  • Andrew Yeager, aged 50, landed in Pennsylvania in 1775

Yeager Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Jacob H Yeager, who arrived in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • Frank Peter Yeager, who landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1867
  • Conrad Yeager, who arrived in Arkansas in 1890
  • George Phillip Yeager, who landed in Arkansas in 1898

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  • William A. Yeager, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from California 38th District, 1996
  • Weldon Osborne Yeager (b. 1922), American Republican politician, Member of Michigan Republican State Central Committee, 1960-62; Delegate to Michigan State Constitutional Convention from 18th Senatorial District, 1961-62
  • W. A. Yeager, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1948
  • W. Roy Yeager, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for North Carolina, 1972
  • Theodore C. Yeager (d. 1874), American politician, Mayor of Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1873-74
  • S. S. Yeager, American politician, Member of South Dakota State Senate 34th District, 1909-10
  • Ruth Yeager, American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, 1993
  • Otto Yeager, American politician, Representative from Pennsylvania 33rd District, 1924
  • Norman Yeager, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Nevada, 2008
  • Marisa Valdez Yeager, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 2000, 2008

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  1. Jones, George F. The Germans of Colonial Georgia 1733-1783 Revised edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0806311614).
  2. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
  3. Götze, Alfred. Familiennamen im badischen Oberland. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1918. Print.
  4. Preuss, Otto. Die Lippischen Familiennamen mit Berücksichtigung der Ortsnamen. Detmold: Meyer'sche Hofbuchh, 1887. Print.
  5. Strassburger, Ralph B. Pennsylvania German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  6. Kapff, Rudolf. Schwäbische Geschlechtsnamen. Stuttgart: Verlag Silberburg, 1927. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann. Deutches Namenbuch. Stuttgart: Verlag von Adolf Bonz & Comp, 1928. Print.
  9. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
  10. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Yeager Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Yeager 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 9 May 2016 at 13:39.

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