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Opperman Genealogy and Opperman Family History Information

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About the Opperman surname

The associated coat of arms for this name are recorded in J.B Rietstaps Armorial General, iIllustrated by V & H.V Rolland's. This monumental work took 23 years to complete and 85,000 coats of arms are included in this work. The surname of OPPERMAN was a low German and Dutch occupational name for a churchwarden or sexton, with particular reference to his task of taking the collection. The name was derived from the old german word OPPERGILT donation, from OPPERN, to sacrifice and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form OPERARI + MANN. The name is also spelt OPFERMANN, OFFERMAN, OFERMAN and OFFERMANNS.

The dutch language is most closely related to low german and its surnames have been influenced both by german and french naming practices. The preposition 'van' is found especially with habitation names, and the 'de' mainly with nicknames. Surnames are divided into four categories, from occupations, nicknames, baptismal and locational. All the main types of these are found in german-speaking areas, and names derived from occupations and from nicknames are particularly common. A number of these are jewish.

Patronymic surnames are derived from vernacular germanic given names, often honouring christian saints. Regional and ethnic names are also common. The german preposition 'von' (from) or 'of', used with habitation names, is taken as a mark of aristocracy, and usually denoted proprietorship of the village or estate from where they came. Some members of the nobility affected the form VON UND ZU with their titles. In eastern germany there was a heavy influence both from and on neighbouring slavonic languages. Many prussian surnames are of slavonic origin.