Herrmann Last Name Meaning and Family History

Soldiers holding rifles
Etienne Girardet / Getty Images

The German Herrmann is a patronymic surname which means "soldier, army man, or warrior" derived from the Germanic elements heri, meaning "army," and mann, meaning "man." Harmon and Hermon are common English variants of this surname.

Alternate Surname Spellings: Herrman, Hermann, Herman

Famous People With the Herrmann Surname

  • Bernard Herrmann - American composer best known as the author of scores for Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock films including Citizen Kane and Psycho
  • Alexander Herrmann - French magician known as "Herrmann the Great"
  • Hans Herrmann -  Former Formula One driver from Stuttgart, Germany
  • Edward Herrmann - American actor, best known for his role as the patriarch, Richard, on "Gilmore Girls "
  • Jakob Hermann - Swiss mathematician
  • Walter Herrmann - German nuclear physicist

Where Is the Herrmann Name Most Common?

According to Forebears, the Herrmann surname can be traced back to Brandenburg, and is still most commonly found in Germany, ranking as the country's 38th most common surname. It is also somewhat common in Switzerland, Austria, and Luxembourg. Data from WorldNames PublicProfiler indicates the Herrmann surname is equally prevalent throughout much of Germany, with a slightly higher incidence around Saarland and Sachsen.

Surname maps from MyHeritage.de indicate the Hermann last name is focused in scattered pockets around Germany and is most common in the counties and cities of Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Region Hannover, Ortenaukreis, Reutlingen, Dresden, Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, Leipzig, and Saarlouis.

Family Crest or Coat of Arms

Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Herrmann family crest or coat of arms for the Herrmann surname. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families, and may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted.

Genealogy Resources

  • Meanings of Common German Surnames - Uncover the meaning of your last name with this free guide to the meanings and origins of common German surnames.
  • Harmon/Harman/Herman DNA Surname Project - Individuals with the Harmon surname, and variations such as Herman, Herrmann, Herrman, Harman and Herman, are invited to participate in this group DNA project in an attempt to learn more about their family origins. The website includes information on the project, the research done to date, and instructions on how to participate.
  • HERRMANN Family Genealogy Forum - This free message board is focused on descendants of Herrmann ancestors around the world. Search or browse the archives for information on your ancestors, or join the group and post your own Herrmann query.
  • FamilySearch - HERRMANN Genealogy - Explore over 2.4 million results from digitized historical records and lineage-linked family trees related to the Herrmann surname on this free website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • GeneaNet - Herrmann Records - GeneaNet includes archival records, family trees, and other resources, with a concentration on records and families from France and other European countries.

Sources

  • Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.
  • Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Collins Celtic (Pocket edition), 1998.
  • Fucilla, Joseph. Our Italian Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003.
  • Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1997.
  • Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.

https://www.thoughtco.com/surname-meanings-and-origins-s2-1422408