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2004/05/18 18:48:16
Cheryl Endicott
Re: [HN] VON BRUNS Research
Datum 2004/05/18 19:08:50
Klaus Riecken
[HN] Fw: Bex Maaseik - Zusammenfassung aller Infos, die durch die Liste gingen
2004/05/18 16:33:25
[HN] Surname help please
Betreff 2004/05/18 21:30:36
"Jürgen E.W. Meyer"
Re: [HN] Surname help please
2004/05/18 18:03:45
R&B Stewart
Re: [HN] Haseluenne Catholic Church
Autor 2004/05/19 00:07:22
R&B Stewart
Re: [HN] Wehrkamp

Re: [HN] Surname help please

Date: 2004/05/18 18:59:14
From: R&B Stewart <raybarbara(a)...


    It's not true that the Germans before 1872 did not have surnames.
Rather, they may not have had a uniform spelling of the surname.  In church
(and other) records it is more likely that the name was spelled according to
what the person heard.  I could guess if you go back to pre-1500 where there
are few  recorded documents, somewhere back there, they did not have
surnames (except royalty perhaps). However, sometime ago, I read about
villages in Bavaria that the Jews did not have surnames, until more recent
times. They were told to take a surname at some point.

     If possible, you could look at the LDS records for the town of

  Kirchenbuch, 1715-1852  Evangelische Kirche Otterstedt (Kr. Achim)
    I know that doesn't hold the records for your ancestor because of the
date, but you would certainly know how many names there were with that name.


on 5/18/04 8:32 AM, Ottypotty(a)... at Ottypotty(a)... wrote:

> Dear Listers
> I am looking for Johan Heinrich OTTERSTEDT born 1872 Germany moving to
> England 1892-99 .  I have come to a stop as I cant find him after 1901 in
> England  
> under this name.
> I am trying to trace him in Germany.  I have been told that many Germans
> especially from rural districts  did not have or use surnames until at least
> after 
> Unification in 1872 .  They used their first names and then took the place
> where they lived.  I think he did come from Otterstedt area as he came to
> England via Hannover. Can anyone confirm this and if so I am looking for an
> Johan 
> Also I have found Otterstedts ( no relation as yet ) coming from Denmark and
> Sweden . Where would they have got their name from originally
> Please help
> Thank you in advance
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