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How common is my Family name?

by Steve
(USA)

Hi Suzele.


I forgot to ask this before, but can you give an estimate how common the name WERMUTH is in Alsace? Or even a guess. I figure there might be more in Waldighofen where my Ancestor is from, but have no real idea.

Thanks Suzele!

Stephen M. Wermuth

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Wermuch Family Name in Alsace and How to Find Your Family's Village in Alsace
by: Suzele

Hi Stephen,

Based on my experiences here in Alsace, I would say WERMUTH is definitely not a very common name.

I live in southern Alsace, so it's based on my observations there of course (and Waldighofen is in southern Alsace so that's a good thing for you!)

And get ready to hear lots of Alsatian because Waldighofen is deep in the Sundgau (a very traditionally rural Alsatian area)!

For those of you who have no idea which villages your family comes from...

If you are determined to find them, you can go to the village cemetery of every little village in Alsace until you find a lot of people with your family name.

Because the cemeteries in the village or villages that your family comes from will usually be full of your ancestors (unless they all moved away of course which isn't likely).

And even if they did all move away, you'll usually find plenty of older gravestones in most village cemeteries or specially done gravestones with everyone listed.

Of course this only works if you have a family name that is not everywhere...

An easy way to find out if your family name is really common is to go to the French Yellow Pages and type your name in and see how many listings there are.

Qui means "who" in French and Où means "where"...

You can limit the search to the Haut Rhin (southern) department or the Bas Rhin (northern department) or a particular village if you want.

And you may just find out where a large group of your distant relatives are too!

Good luck!
Suzele


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Could Family name have been shortened?
by: Stephen Wermuth

Thanks Suzele! I had heard somewhere in the past that the name may have been shortened from Wermuthausen, but have no proof what so ever. From all your experience in Alsace do you think this may be possible? Thanks again for such a wonderful site!!

Stephen Wermuth

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Family Names Change
by: Suzele

It is entirely possible, because many people doing genealogical research (around the world) often find that their family names have changed for many different reasons.

Alsace has changed ownership so many times in its history (1871-1947 in particular), so there is a definite possibility of it.

With the extreme depopulation of Alsace during the 30 Years War (and the subsequent repopulation of Alsace afterwards by the Germans, Swiss and other nationalities), people moving in may have changed their names as well.

Not to mention that literacy and public education in France (which would lead to being able to read and write their names) was not widely available until the time of Napoleon (early 1800s).

Good luck with your research!
Suzele

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Wermuth Name
by: Anonymous

My grandfather was from Waldighafen and we have traveled there twice.

Have traced my family back to early 1700s and the name has always been Wermuth. The cementary there also uses the spelling Wermuth.

Also there quite a few Wermuths living there.

Hope this helps,
Arthur Wermuth

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Question for Suzele
by: G. Zupp

Are there any residence of Alsace with the surname "Zupp?"

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