Medieval Naming Guides: German

German Names

German today is a common language spoken in Germany and Austria, with dialects in neighboring countries. The situation is our period was more complex: There was large range of dialects spoken across the German world. The primary division was between Low German, spoken in the north, and High German, spoken in the south, with an intermediate band which used Middle German. A map of the primary German dialect regions is available with a concise description of the main dialects. We've also found a description of where each dialect is spoken

High German

Some Early Middle High German Bynames, by Talan Gwynek
About 140 bynames (descriptive epithets) recorded before 1240, mostly from the south of Germany and Switzerland.

Names from Hebrew Chronicles of the 12th Century, by Julie Stampnitzky
A list of names of Jews in France and Germany, part of the author's Database of Medieval Jewish Names.

Mittelhochdeutsches Namenbuch. Nach oberrheinischen Quellen des 12. und 13. Jahrhunderts, by Adolf Socin
A complex analysis of Middle High German names from the 12th and 13th C, available either to read online or to download as PDF.

German Given Names 1200-1250, by Talan Gwynek
Men's and women's given names from Arnsburg, in Hessen.

Medieval German Given Names from Silesia, by Talan Gwynek
A large collection of masculine and feminine given names from Silesia, in eastern Germany near the modern borders with Poland and the Czech Republic.

German Names from Kosice, 1300-1500, by Guntram von Wolkenstein and Anya Mstyslavyaya
A collection of names from the register of offices of a prison in Slovakia. The article contains surnames as well as given names. The given names are Latinized; most of the surnames are not. Most of the names are German; a few are Slavic. Master Talan has provided notes on the surnames in the articles. Also posted by the SCA Shire of Adamastor.

15th Century German Women's Names, by Talan Gwynek
A small collection of women's given names from Arnsburg, in Hessen.

German Names from Rottweil, Baden-Württemberg, 1441, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
Names of 1350 men and women, with a partial list of surnames.

German Names from 1495, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
About a hundred masculine and feminine given names collected from an edition of taxrolls from the south of Germany; also includes an alphabetical list of surnames.

German Names from Kulmbach, 1495, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
Masculine and feminine given names and surnames.

German Names from Nürnberg, 1497, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
Masculine and feminine given names and surnames from a tax record.

Women's Surnames in 15th Century Germany, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael

Late Period German Masculine Given Names, by Talan Gwynek
The names are collected from documents from Arnsburg, in Hessen, and from Plauen, in eastern German near the modern Czech border.

16th-17th Century Hessian Given Names and Surnames
Masculine names, feminine names, and surnames from the register of a church near Frankfurt.

Low German

Women's Surnames in 15th- and 16th-Century Germany, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
Discusses feminine naming patterns in both High and Low German.

15th Century Low German Men's Names from Mecklenburg, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
Masculine given names and place names.

Frankish Names
See elsewhere.

Gothic Names
See elsewhere.

Names from Switzerland
See also French and Italian, as appropriate.

German Place Names

German Place Names from a 16th C Czech Register, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
More than 700 place names mentioned in a 16th century document written in a dialect of Lower Bavarian.

15th Century Low German Men's Names from Mecklenburg, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
Includes 15th-century spellings of the names of towns.


The Medieval Names Archive is published by the Academy of Saint Gabriel and Sara L. Uckelman. It was historically published by Joshua Mittleman.
© 1997-2013. Copyright on individual articles belongs to their authors.
http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/german.shtml