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A named name , also vulgar name , is a name in which the house name was superimposed on or added to the real name of a person due to the connection to a farm or, more rarely, a house . The “named names” come partly from the time when family names were introduced ( late Middle Ages ). In later name formations of this kind, the “named part” often referred to the property, or the names were created as a result of an adoption , whereby the “named part” referred to the name of the adoptive father or possibly the adoptive mother. Originally they applied to a single person, later to the whole family.

Social handling of named names


  • According to the BGB, the family name is called "von Panostein gen. Watte", and accordingly it should be written on all official documents (with all four name words).
  1. Postal address: Frau Elisabeth von Panostein called Watte
  2. Salutation: Dear Mrs. von Panostein called Watte
  3. Card name: from Panostein called Watte (under "P")
  • In non-official dealings, however, it is more practical to formulate as follows:
  1. Letter salutation: Dear Ms. von Watte
  2. Salutation: Mrs. von Watte
  3. External conception: Frau von Watte
  4. Introducing yourself: cotton wool
  5. Guest list: Frau von Panostein called Watte

It should be noted, however, that the bearer of the name can usually be addressed and written as "von Watten", much less often than "von Panostein". The predicate "named" originally stated that the bearer of the name really should or wanted to be called that way. When using such names, it is not uncommon to ask the bearer how he uses his name. This is how it should be used.

A new family name is mentioned

Often the named part became the new, sole family name, so Johannes Welcker (* 1430; † 1513), Magister artium and book printer in Basel received the named name "Amerbach" after his native Amorbach . The son of Johannes Welcker called Amerbach was the humanist Bonifacius Amerbach (* 1495; † 1562), whose son in turn was the lawyer and art collector Basilius Amerbach (* 1533; † 1591).

The Westphalian ministerial family , named after its ancestral seat as de Vitighoven (later by Vietinghoff or Vittinghoff ) in the 13th century received the nickname Schell (or Scheel ) at the latest in the 15th century , whereby most lines of the widely ramified family usually use the origin name, one but is still called von Schell today .

In the noble family Kn (a) ut (h) , which did not have a nobility predicate, the suffixes dictus, dicti, vero, qui et before Knut / Knaut were listed as a gender name and not as a name of origin, for example Timone dictis Knut 1255. The The spelling for a place was written as follows Heynricus Knut dictus de zchidingen

Main name part is actually named name part

But there was also the case that in an adoption the original name was supposed to be the part of the named name, but the adoption name was so dominant that it was not only the "actual named name", but ultimately only the new family name:

Johann Friedrich Hilchen (* 1708; † 1781) married a daughter of Jacob Sigismund Freiherr Waitz von Eschen in 1744 and received the imperial nobility on April 17, 1768 in Vienna. His father-in-law Baron Waitz adopted him on December 18 of the same year by means of a family contract as a child, with the obligation to use the name " Freiherr Waitz von Eschen gen. Hilchen " for himself and his descendants . The grandchildren and descendants left the addition “gen. Hilchen “away.

Further examples are the Counts of Zech, otherwise known as von Burkersroda (who use the double name Zech-Burkersroda in everyday life ), the barons of Gleichen called von Rußwurm (mostly as a double name Gleichen-Rußwurm ), the Barons of Mauchenheim called Bechtolsheim (who called the Use the name Bechtolsheim), the barons von Müffling called Weiß (who use the name Müffling).

The name becomes a double name

Named names were later converted into double names: Wilhelm von Esbeck received from the Prussian king in 1867 a name association with the Rügen von Platen as "von Esbeck called von Platen". In 1904 the name was officially changed to "von Esbeck-Platen".

"Called" is "by"

Originally the “named by” was used as the nobility's designation of origin Echardus miles dictus de Heseler 1275 (Eckehard Ritter called (from the place) Heßler ). Later the "named" was lost and only the "von Hessler" remained.

It happened that at ennoblement was (gradually) transformed into a "from" "called" the part: the brunswick-lüneburgische Chancellor Johann Helwig Sinolt gen Schüz received in 1674 the imperial nobility.. The use of the nobility name "Synold von Schüz" was not objected to in the Principality of Anhalt-Köthen and in the Kingdom of Prussia and is the official name of the family today.

Name given as the farm address

The name mentioned had both the function of an address and the function of a family name in agricultural families with farm ownership . It stands in the tradition of the from-and-to -names of the nobility, in which originally acquired residences displace the ancestral residences in the name (new acquisitions such as subsidiary lines).

A named name can be recognized in church registers or other documents by additions such as: vulgo , modo, vel, alias, or, gen., An , auf, zu and similar, regionally different formulations. In some regions the connection between the name and the farm was so complete that the real name of a farmer was completely withdrawn and lost without this being documented in church registers or other documents with one of the additions.

In the Rhineland, this custom ended in 1798 with the introduction of the civil status registers by the French. Only the name that was entered in the church register at birth was allowed to be used here. In Prussia this was valid from 1816. In the Alpine countries the custom is still widespread today , for example in Austria the name of the court is recorded in the telephone books on request and sometimes officially, and is often the primary form of address among local acquaintances.

In the case of temporary leases , it could even happen that one person had several named names.


Farmer Müller has a son Johann. Farmer Müller takes over the Schmelzerhof and thus the name Schmelzer for himself and his son. After twelve years, he takes over the barman's yard, which changes his name from Schmelzer to Barmann. His son marries the daughter from Windmannshof and is now called Windmann.

Son Johann thus had four different names in the course of his life:

  • Johann Müller (at birth)
  • Johann Schmelzer (in the communicants directory )
  • Johann Barmann (at the wedding)
  • Johann Windmann (at the baptism of his children)

Anyone who traces his family name back to a farm with named names is therefore not necessarily related to bearers of the same name. It does not connect the parentage, but only the (former) place of residence.

Occasionally named names can also be found in the case of illegitimate births or as an epithet with frequent family names to differentiate within the village or urban community.

In addition to the peasantry, the custom is also widespread among innkeepers who are named after their inn, so Andreas Hofer was known in his time as “the Passeier Sand Innkeeper”.

Named names in Westphalia

In Westphalia , the named names were regulated by special legal regulations in 1822. While in other regions of the Called Name Versteinerungsdatum was committed, he was allowed in Westphalia from the direct heirs as a family with the addition mentioned are: (gt, gnt or abbreviated gen...) Continued.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Johannes Baron von Mirbach: Nobility names - nobility titles. 2nd, expanded edition. Limburg / Lahn 1999, p. 15. f.
  2. German Gender Book . Volume 124 (= Hessian Gender Book Volume 15), Limburg / Lahn 1960, p. 654.
  3. German Gender Book. Volume 124 (= Hessian Gender Book Volume 15), Limburg / Lahn 1960, p. 556.
  4. ^ Genealogical handbook of the nobility . Adelslexikon Volume III, Complete Series Volume 61, Limburg / Lahn 1975, p. 176.
  5. ^ Genealogical handbook of the nobility. Adelslexikon Volume XIV, Complete Series Volume 131, Limburg / Lahn 2003, p. 285.
  6. If a Mr. Huber is the farmer at the Grabnergut, in Austria, Upper Bavaria or South Tyrol one still says in the dialect "his name is Grabner and spelled himself Huber", which means that he is always spoken as the "Grabner (farmer)" and only for one signature does he give his official family name.