In this section we will focus on German surnames beginning with I.
Alternatively, click on the following letters to go to German surnames beginning with:
Ibach / Ibacher – The name of several villages in Germany (and Switzerland). Originally this name would have denoted somebody living in such a creek or village. The majority of villages / towns bearing the same name can be found in Baden-Württemberg and Nord-Rhein Westfalen, Germany. There are also a number of streams bearing the same name, not surprising as ‘Bach’ means ‘stream’ in English.
Icker / Ickert – Most likely to have originally referred to inhabitants of ‘Ickern’ in Nordrhein-Westfalen. The district, which now has approximately 17,000 inhabitants, was first officially documented in 1220. It is also just as likely to have originally denoted inhabitants of ‘Icker’ in Osnabrück, Lower Saxony.
Igel – Means `hedgehog` in English. Likely to have once described somebody deemed ‘prickly’ or even ‘aloof’.
Ilse – Possibly originally denoted inhabitants of a village called ‘llse’ in the district of Minden-Lübbecke, Germany. The village, which only has approximately 400 inhabitants, celebrated its 750th anniversary in 2001. It may possibly also refer to ‘Ilsenburg’ in Harz, Saxony-Anhalt through which a small river called the ‘Ilse’ runs and after which the area is named.
Imlauer – Likely to have originally indicated people from ‘Imlau’ in St. Johann in Tirol, Austria.
Isenbart – Please see ‘Eisenbart’ for further information.
Isenflamm – Literally translated this German surname means ‘iron flame’ in English and was originally the name of a blacksmith.
Itter – Two possible origins. Firstly, it may have originally referred to people from ‘Ittergau’ which was a medieval town near Waldeck in the north of Hesse, named after the River Itte. Secondly, it may have initially referred to inhabitants of Itter in Tirol, Austria. This area has been a human settlement since 1500 BC.
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