"Van" in names

Millie Webb millie-webb at CHARTER.NET
Tue Jan 28 19:08:57 UTC 2003

I can tell you that -- these days anyway -- if someone has "von" in their
last name in Germany or German territories before WWII, it is highly likely
(if not certain) that they are descended from nobility.  Everyone in our
little village of Hohnhorst, talked of "The Von Hohnhorsts" with somewhat of
a mix of awe of their nobility and jealous snideness about the fact that
they still owned most of the property in the village and just rented it to
"regular people".  I had a friend when studying in Tuebingen, who was a
"Freiherr Johannes von ____".  he said it was essentially a useless title of
viscount (his older brother would be the count, I believe), that made him
"unlanded gentry" because his family came West from Ostpressuen during and
after the War.  Then they settled in Southern Schwabia, about as dialectally
different from Ostpreussen as one could get at the time....
-- Millie
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joyce, Thomas F." <TJoyce at BELLBOYD.COM>
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2003 5:22 PM
Subject: Re: "Van" in names

> Didn't the ambitious young Beethoven seek entree among the upper classes
by fostering the mistaken assumption that he was "von" not "van" Beethoven
(Dutch somewhere on his father's side)?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: FRITZ JUENGLING [mailto:juengling_fritz at SALKEIZ.K12.OR.US]
> Sent: Monday, January 27, 2003 3:37 PM
> Subject: Re: "Van" in names
> The German and Dutch forms have the same meaning--'from.' It originally
meant someone from a certain

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