Saturday, March 7, 2015

Surnames - Orth

On my mother's maternal side, the name, Orth, belongs to my great, great grandmother, Christina Orth Herr. 

The name is peculiar - it doesn't seem to fit any one kind of ethnicity - which made me wonder its origins. 

In it's most basic definition, Orth stands for the following: 

North German: variant spelling of Ort 3.German and French: from a short form of a compound personal name formed with ort ‘point (of a weapon)’, as the first element (source: Ancestry.com) 

However, another source indicates that the name Orth actually has deeper roots going beyond it's German origins. The name appears to have connections to Spanish and Portuguese origins, as it was adopted by them prior to the 5th century A.D. when the Visigoths conquered certain parts of Spain and Portugal. 

According to Surname Database, there are at least 40 variations of this name and many of the variants are found in France, Spain, Mexico and of course, Germany. Surname Database gives a slightly different definition of the name Orth:

In this case the surname is topographical and generally describes a person who lived in an 'ort', this being a settlement on the top of a hill, or in the case of the French nameholders, in a walled area, probably a defensive fortress. In some case the surname may have been descriptive for a soldier who carried an 'ort', this being a spear or lance.

Source: http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Orth#ixzz3TUJHfTmE

Here are some variants of the name Orth and their origins:

Orta (French)
de la Heurtas (Mexico)
Huerta (Mexico)
Ort (French)
Orto (German)
Imort
Delort

Houseofnames.com gives even more variants of the Orth name:

Ohrt
Orthmann
Ohrtmann
Ordemann

Here is the family crest motto information: 

Motto: Sine Macula
Translation: Without Stain

I recently ordered the Death Certificate of Christina's father to help determine where who his parents were, as I have too many that don't quite fit his profile and the death certificate may give some answers. It will be interesting what road this may take me down.