Schall surname comes from German and has various meanings including "hatchet", sound, sound of the bell. Most common spellings were Schall, Shall and Shaull. An illustrious ancestor of one branch was Maximillian Ramian Heinrich Schall von Bell zu Flerzheim und Morenhoven of Lower Saxony, based in Cologne in the 17th and 18th century. In Pennsylvania the main branch descended from Nikolaus Schall/ Shall and his wife Catharina who emigrated in 1752. They left on the ship Neptune from Rotterdam and arrived at Philadelphia with their children Andreas, Michael, Nicholas Jr. and Anna Maria. Although many Schalls from this branch remained in Pennsylvania, descendants can now be found in several American states -- Virginia Ohio , Vermont and Georgia as well as far afield in Australia and New Zealand.