Saturday, January 15, 2011

Brueggmann Surname

Since I talked about the Riley surname the other day, I thought it would be good to look into the meaning of the Brueggemann name.  There are so many variations in the spelling that it can make research difficult.  For example. in the 1910 US Census, Ernst August's last name was recorded at Berrygemara by the census taker.  Another year it was recorded as Bruggemann,  and another as Bruggman.   

The German surname of BRUEGGEMANN was both an occupational and locational name meaning 'the dweller and worker at the bridge from residence nearby. Building and maintaining bridges was one of the three main feudal obligations, along with bearing arms and maintaining all the fortifications. The cost of building a bridge was often defrayed by charging a toll, the surname thus being acquired by the toll gatherer.  If you have read Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth, you will remember how important the bridge and the tolls were. can give you a summary of families with this last name (Brueggemann):
For example in the 1920 Census:
Illinois                    17-32 Families
Missouri                17-32 
Ohio                       6-16
Wisconsin              6-16
a handful of states had 1-5 and most didn't have any.

Take away the second "n" and the results are similar:

Illinois                    22-42
Missouri                22-42
Ohio                       8-21
Wisconsin             8-21

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