Origin of Eddleman Surname

an Eddleman Genealogy Workshop
Editor: Harold Eddleman, Descendent of Catherine Eddleman 1778 KY


This is an online geneology workshop investigating the origin and variant spellings of the Eddleman surname. Please send your information or speculations about the origin of the Eddleman family name. I will post them on this page. We know that Edelmann came to America from Rott [Northern Alsace], Odenwald [northeast of Heidelberg], and Switzerland. Edelmann also have originated in Austria, south of Munich, maybe Palatinate. Since most of our 1700s ancestors seem to have come from German speaking parts of Europe, I will open this workshop using the German spelling Edelmann.

What does the Name Edelmann mean?

I have studied this problem 42 years and have not found a definite meaning/origin of the name. We can only guess the origin. In Germany, edel means noble and has the same two meanings we use in America: 1) a noble person, a noble deed. a noble goal. 2) a rank of nobility, a nobleman.

Examples in German include the beloved edelweiss, a plant found in the Alps Mountains bearing simple white flower as it peeks thru the melting snow. The flowering of the edelweiss in the Alps brings the same joy as the appearance of the first robin in the Eastern United States.

When I was in the army near Kaiserslautern (1955), I visited the Richard Menges family weekly. His father had been a wood carver and Richard was a bilthauer, a stone sculptor working mainly in the common red sandstone of the Pfalz. He had traced his roots to 1400 and I took every opportunity to learn German genealogy from him. He said Edelmann could mean someone was a nobleman, or a self-important person called nobleman by his peers to mock him. He also suggested it could mean husband of Adele (Adele's man). I would also suggest it means a noble (good) man, but I have not asked Germans whether that would be a reasonable possiblity in the German language. One thing seems clear: the Edelmann of Europe have never been members of the nobility ranks.

"Edelmann" means free farmer who owns his land.
by Udo Edelmann UEdelmann@aol.com

My family comes from the Ulm / Neu-Ulm area, on the border of Bavaria and Swabia. I am a German living in the US.

"Edelmann" means "free farmer who owns his own land" and this fits with my ancestory, I do not know about yours. In the mediaval times a non-noble farmer who owned his own land was very special, probably related to a cretain closeness to free cities (of which Ulm was very important and very rich through the salt trade and other trade on the Danube River). Therefore, even when not technically noble with a title and not a citizen, an "Edelmann" was special as he was a) not owned by somebody else as often and b) had his own land.

Re: Meaning of the name "Edelmann" (UEdelmann@aol.com, 05/29/99 06:57) To: Indbio

Dear Harold,

thanks for the quick reply. Actually, I have this information from a "surname book" and I do not remember for the live of me the name of the book. I think it was even a paperback about the meaning of German surnames.

As Amazon is also now in ermany, you might be able to browse their catalog and buy one over the web.

This explanation just also fit in the family backgrond of my father, which is farming.

All the best

Re: Meaning of the name "Edelmann" (UEdelmann@aol.com, 05/29/99 07:00) To: Indbio

Dear Harlod,

I will also ask my sister to give me copies of the family tree which she has had assembled. This might answer some of your questions.

All the best


Re: Meaning of the name "Edelmann" (UEdelmann@aol.com, 05/29/99 07:04) To: Indbio

Hi Harold,

well, as we are in the world of realtime access, I did look over there. There is one very cheap book (1 Euro = app. 1 Dollar):

Compact Minilexikon. Das kleine Nachnamen- Lexikon. Preis: DM 3,95 (EUR 2,02) Verfügbarkeit: Dieser Titel kann in der Regel in 2 bis 3 Tagen versandt werden. Taschenbuch - 256 Seiten (Oktober 1994) Compact-Vlg., Mchn.; ISBN: 3817432674

I do not know if this is it, but maybe somebody you know can buy it in germany or go into a bookshoop and look up that page.

All the best


An Edelman Note from Belgium, via MESSEAR 97 JULY 23

On 1997 Jul 21, Trudi Edelman, EdelmanT@aol.com, wrote:
"Recently I was told EDELMAN was Dutch for nobleman. Does anyone know if that is correct? I assume the person meant the Neatherlands. I had thought Edelman was German."

Ivo Onraedt (Belgium), ivo.onraedt@advalvas.be, answered:
"Edelman is a Dutch or Flemish word that still exists and means Nobleman indeed. Probably the name is from the so-called "low-countries". In German, there would have been, probably, two nn at the end, Edelmann. "

Meaning of Eddleman by Judy Reiter, via MESSEAR 97 AUG 26

Newsgroup: soc.genealogy.german
Subject: Re: Surname EDLEMAN; searching for meaning
Message-ID: <5tulj7$r5a$1@coqui.ccf.swri.edu> References: <33FC4FE4.2781@us.ibm.com
In article <33FC4FE4.2781@us.ibm.com>, jreiter@us.ibm.com says:
I am searching for the meaning of the surname EDLEMAN. In my family it has been alternatively spelled EDDLEMAN, EDDELMAN and EDELMAN, and sometimes has a 'von' in front of it and sometimes with another 'n' at the end. I spoke last night with an elderly cousin, from whom I've gotten most of my initial genealogical info on that line. He says these are the meanings he has heard: EDLE means horse as refers only to thoroughbreds and cannot be a name
EDEL means a noble man, not nobility but in character
EDDLE and EDDEL are nonsense and would not be names.
I know names get changed over time due to sloppy handwriting and various degrees of literacy and translating from one language to another. But if anyone can shed some light on this (group of) names I would appreciate the help. Thanks to everyone for the knowledge shared in this newsgroup...it's wonderful!
Regards, Judy

A Comment by Harold Eddleman, 1997 Aug 30

After reading the message by Ivo Onraedt (Belgium), ivo.onraedt@advalvas.be, that Edelman is used in the low countries, I went to Excite(nl) and typed "Edelman" and found a few dozen hits. I wrote some of them asking about the Edelman name, but I have not had any replies. Holland is a small country, but I got more hits than "Edelmann" gets in Germany. There are some Eddlemann in Sweden and Finland, I wrote them, but no replies so far. 98 Mar 25. I never did get any answers from any of the Edelman that wrote.
Harold Eddleman

How is the surname pronounced

In german, the letter e is pronounced like the short "a" in gay and the German "a" is pronounced like "ah" in English. Thus Edelmann is pronounced "ay dayl mahn". Also the german "d" can have have very much of the English "t". Practice this German pronunciation many times and it will aid you in understanding variant spellings of Eddleman/Edelmann.

Some non-Edelmann spellings in Europe before 1800

Edelmann is the only spelling I have seen in German-speaking areas of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. However, in the low countries of Benelux, Edeman is a fairly frequent name. I guess nobleman is spelled edelman in Platt Deutsch (low german). An American serviceman told me Eiddleman is Dutch (Holland) for "noble," but I have not found any confirmation.

The meaning of a German surname can often be found in a German- English dictionary (e.g., Schmidt means smith, Müller means miller). Sometimes spelling modifications, pronunciation shifts, or dialectal origins hide the original meaning. In such cases, a German name lexicon can be useful. Three standard German works are:

Please note that name interpretation is often speculative. Can someone look up Edelman so we can enter the findings here.

Dr. Eddleman,

I notice in your webpage entitled "Origin of Eddleman Surname", available at <http://www.disknet.com/indiana_biolab/eg902.htm> in the section labeled 'Some non-Edelmann spellings in Europe before 1800', you quote directly from my soc.genealogy.german FAQ, but without attribution. Unfortunately I didn't see any acknowledgment or reference to my work, which intellectual honesty would require.

I'm sure plagiarism was not your intent, so please provide a fair attribution to the text. Might I also suggest a link to the FAQ: <http://www.genealogy.net/gene/faqs/sgg.html> This is a huge source which researchers will find very useful. -- Harold Eddleman


-- =Jim Eggert EggertJ@LL.mit.edu

What are the Spellings of Edelmann - Eddleman?

Edelmann is the only spelling I have seen in Germany. Joe Eddleman and William Eddleman noticed Edelmann was used in the Colonies among German speakers in church and family records, but English speaking census takers and tax collectors often used some variant.

Eddleman is the spelling used by Catherine Eddleman and her sons (Daniel and John) in deeds and tax records in Kentucky. Eddleman was used before 1800 many times in North Carolina, but other names are also found in Rev War times in NC.

Eddelman is a frequent spelling in the phone books from Columbus, Indiana, to Indianapolis. Sharon Renner gave me her lineage as an example:
Daniel Eddleman (son of Catherine Eddleman, married Sarah Rich in KY) => Daniel Edd
elman (married Fanny Smith) => Samuel Eddelman (married Sara Lavina Childers) => Frank Eddelman (married Minnie Carson) => Edna Eddelman (married Ralph Talkington) => Sharon Talkington (married Kieth Renner). Sharon lives in Columbus, Indiana. We do not know why the son of Daniel Eddleman changed the spelling to Eddelman.

Attleman, Attelman are variants one expects to find if the "d" is given the German "t" pronunciation.

Edelmon, Edlemon, Eddlemon are variants expected if you recall the german "ah" sound for "a." Thus, "mahn" sounds like "mon". Furthermore, we have all been guilty of writing an "a" so that it looked like an "o". I am astonished we do not find these spellings more often. Yet, that is not proof these people are Edelmann-Eddleman.

By William Rodney (Bill) Eddleman

The surname Edelman has been written down in many varied ways, thanks to creative spelling in the past and the faulty ear of many a clerk. The sampling below is offered as examples of these spellings and as a help for family members trying to find their ancestors in various indices. The spelling and a reference to the source are included. This list was compiled by Bill Eddleman. Send Bill an email message or post to EDDLEMAN-L if you find additional spellings or have other comments.

A. C. Adalman held note on the estate of George Patton, Maury Co., TN Wills, Book E:183, 16 Sept 1829.

Susannah Addemon to Isaac Needham, 1 Dec. 1814, Maury Co, TN Marriage Records.

Peter Addelman listed on 1772 Surry Co., NC tax list.

Philip Addleman listed in Baltimore Co., Md. Debt Book for land in Phillips Bough, 1754.

David Addliman listed in 1850 Ohio Federal Census, Nimishil Township, Stark Co., p. 467.

George Adelman listed in 1790 Federal Census, Allen Township, Northampton Co., Pa., p. 169.

Peter Adleman listed in Salisbury District, Rowan Co., N.C. (page 177), on 1790 Federal Census.

Mollie Adtleman to Phillip Stroup, 9 May 1789, Lincoln Co., NC Marriage Bonds.

Elizabeth Attleman to George Stroupe, 20 May 1793, Lincoln Co., NC Marriage Bonds.

John Aydleman listed in account book of Isaac B. Hardin, decd., Maury Co., TN Will Book B.

Peter Eadelman listed in Rowan Co., N.C., on 1800 Federal Census (page 300).

Philip Adleman to Philip Baker, 178a in New Germany, 1761, Baltimore Co., Md. Deeds, Folio 515.

1) Probate of Partnership, Eddelman & Eddelman, Perry Co., MO Probate Records, File #920.
2) Daniel Eddelman, son of Daniel Eddleman, Decatur County Indiana.

Jacob Eddelmon listed in 1850 Pennsylvania federal census, Morgan Township, Greene Co, Pa., p. 178.

Bostian Eddleman to Susanna Gualtney, 19 Sep 1797, Lincoln Co., NC Marriage Bonds.

Daniel Eddlemen listed in 1850 Indiana federal census, Jackson Township, Decatur Co., IN, p. 127.

David F. Eddlemon to Louisa F. Summerow, 14 Jan 1857, Lincoln Co., NC Marriage Bonds.

Jacob Eddlemore listed in 1850 Illinois federal census, west Part of 2nd District, Union Co., IL, p. 163.

Moses Eddlerman listed in 1880 Colorado federal census, 5th Precinct, Bent Co., CO, p. 414.

John Eddliman listed in 1850 Burke Co., NC, federal census, p. 427.

John Eddlmen listed in 1890 census of Civil War veterans for Missouri, Cuivre Township, Audrain Co., Mo., p. 2.

Widow Edeleman listed in 1790 Pennsylvania federal census, Lancaster Borough, Lancaster Co, Pa., p. 136.

John Edelleman listed in 1850 Pennsylvania federal census, White Ma. Township, Montgomery Co., Pa., p. 129.

John Edelman witnessed deed, Adam Cloninger to Gerhard Will, 27 No 1776, Lincoln Co., NC Deeds, Book 2:407-408.

Jacob Edelmann and wife had son John David, b. 1 Dec 1736, bp. 15 May 1737, First Reformed KB, Lancaster, Pa.

Richard C. Edelmin listed in 1850 Arkansas federal census, Richwood Township, Izard Co., AR, p. 4.

George Edelmon received land grant in Sec. 20, T19S, R21W, Columbia Co, AR, 2 July 1860.

Sarah Edeman listed as one of the heirs of Isaiah Rich in his will, Shelby Co., Kentucky, 20 November 1799.

Bernard J. Edemann listed in 1890 census of Civil War veterans for Missouri, Salt Creek Township, Chariton Co., Mo., p. 214.

Mrs. Olive Davidson Ediman died 14 Nov. 1934, Maury Co., TN, in Henry C. Brown diary entry.

Henry Edleman to Mary Hager, 3 Nov 1813, Lincoln Co., NC, Marriage Bonds.

J. W. Edlemon listed in 1860 Maury Co., TN federal census, household #411.

Daniel Eidleman listed in 1830 federal census, Fentress CO., TN, p. 9. ELDERMAN State grant #562 to Peter Elderman, 640 acres on Second Creek, 10 Oct 1783, Rowan Co., NC Deed Book 9, page 628.

Philip Eldman from Jacob Shilling Sr., deed for land in Baltimore Co, Md. [From Davis, John. 1996. Baltimore County, Md. Deed Records, Vol. 3, 1755-1767. Heritage Books, Inc.]

Peter Etelman Jr. and wife Elizabeth (X) to his brother John Eddleman, 85 acres and 60 poles on Dutch Second and Buffalo Creeks, 16 Apr 1792, Deed Book 13, Rowan Co., NC, page 255.

Jacob Ettlman listed in 1790 Pennsylvania federal census, Bedford Co., Pa., p. 20.

Eve Ettleman to John Edwards, 4 May 1789, Lincoln Co., NC Marriage Bonds.

David Idleman to George Myers, for 140 pounds, land in Bridgeland, Baltimore Co. Deeds, 1761.

End of Bill Eddleman's list.

Variants of Edelmann used Today in America

This is a list of surnames currently used in America and proved to have been derived from Edelmann imigrants from Germany, Alsace, Switzerland, and Austria. Persons whose name in Europe was Edelman have not replied to our letters. We conclude the Edelman of the low countries are not part of the Edelmann Clans and will not include them in Eddleman Genealogy Library until further developments.

Edelmann, Eddleman, Edelman, Eddelman, -- Please send your name for this list.

| INDIANA BIOLAB Home Page | PageList | Claude Eddleman Farm Home Page |
| Farms Around the World | Eddleman Directory | Indiana Biolab Farm Page |
| Speculations about Potential Eddleman Linkages |
| Eddleman Workshop |

Compiled by Harold Eddleman, Ph. D., Indiana Biolab, 14045 Huff St., Palmyra IN 47164

Suggestions, corrections, and comments are appreciated: Contact Harold Eddleman indbio@disknet.com

---------- Info datapile items to be used above or on other pages --------------------

Subject: eg902 Eddleman surname Date: 5 Dec 97 08:04:54 -0500 From: re850826@edelman.cnchost.com To: Indbio

Greetings from the Edelman(n) side of the family.

My gg grandfather Jacob Conrad Edelman(n) cam from Reinrod in the 1800's. He supposedly immigrated with at least part of his family, possibly a borther a 2 or more sisters. We are currently working on this. We do have names back to 1700s in Germany, all appear to be in the Hesse Darmstadt area of Germany.

Jacob dropped the second n from his name after he traveled south (before the civil war) for whatever reason. The oldest living Edelman remembers being told he did it but nobody has any information as to why.

There is some speculation his arrival name may have been Julius and was changed, possibly by an immigration official who couldn't understand him, to Jacob.

I don't know if this is of any use to you. However, if it is, I have 12,300 plus names in my data file. ALL are related formally in one form or another. I have been trying to connect Edelman and Eddleman(n) for some time and feel eventually I'll find the key. My research shows at least two clearly distinct groups. One group stayed north and went north and west. One group came south. Are they related?? I don't know yet. Possibly. I believe that many of the Edelman, Eddleman, etc. named persons who immigrated during the 1800 period may have some relationship.

Please understand, I don't think all Edelman(s) (or other spellings) are related. I simply believe that many more are related than would be suspected by most folk.

Let me know if you have questions or might be interested in the data I have.


Roy G. Edelman 4432 Woodland Forest Drive Stone Mountain, GA 30083-1882

(404)294-4417 (after 7 PM)