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Surname Gaenslen - Meaning and Origin

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Gaenslen: What does the surname Gaenslen mean?

The last name Gaenslen is a German surname, though it is still seen throughout Europe today. It has origins that date all the way back to the Middle Ages, when the original forms of the name were "Gans" or "Gansz" and meant either "goose" or "goose-keeper." Of course, there have been many variations over time, and while its exact origins are not fully clear, it is believed to be associated with either occupation-based surnames or, alternatively, names based on the Nestel family.

Gaenslen is generally thought to be related to a pre-medieval meaning of "goose keeper" or "gooseherd." One of the first known references to Gaenslen was in 1631, in the form of an "Andreas Gansz" living in the village of Battenried in Germany. By the 16th century, the surname had become more widespread, with members of the Gaensen family branching out to Switzerland, Austria, and beyond.

Today, the Gaenslen surname is still seen across Europe, especially in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the United States. It is an example of the many different iterations of German surnames that have been around for centuries, with its eclectic and ever-evolving nature providing a fascinating look into the past.

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Gaenslen: Where does the name Gaenslen come from?

The last name Gaenslen is most commonly found in the United States today. According to the United States Census Bureau, there were 1,165 individuals with the name Gaenslen living in the United States in 2019. The majority of Gaenslen’s live in Wisconsin, with 471 people with the surname living in the state. Other states with notable populations of Gaenslen’s include Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and California.

The Gaenslen family had a large presence in Wisconsin in the 1800s, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society. The first Gaenslen family to settle in Wisconsin was Louis Gaenslen alte Geusselborn, who arrived from Germany in 1842. Many of his descendants, including John G. Gaenslen and his sons John and Peter, eventually opened a hardware store on Milwaukee’s East Side. This store, known as Gaenslen Brothers & Co., really solidified the beginning of the Gaenslen name in the Milwaukee area.

Now in the present day, Gaenslen’s are still living in the Milwaukee area and beyond. The name will typically be encountered in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and California. As with many names that come from European origins, it is likely to continue to remain common in the United States.

Variations of the surname Gaenslen

Gaenslen is an uncommon surname, originating, or being derived from, the Germanic Gansloen surname meaning ‘enclosure’ or ‘fenced area’. The surname Gaenslen is typically pronounced with a hard g, making it sound similar to ‘Ganslen’.

Variations of the surname Gaenslen include Ganslen, Gaenselen, Gaenslin, Gaenslon, Gainslen, Gainslon, Genselen, Genselin, Genselon, Ganselen, and Ganslin. These variants of the surname typically originate from Germany, and are all derivatives of the Germanic Gansloen surname.

Surnames of similar origin with a similar pronunciation are Gensler, Gentler, Gentles, and Genseler, all of which are derived from the same Germanic root as Gaenslen. Gensler is a variation typically found in Austria, while Gentler and Gentles are also found in Germany. Genseler is a further Germanic variant, and one that is much less common than the first four variants mentioned.

The surname Gaenslen is not very common worldwide, and typically only found in Germany and other German-speaking countries. This suggests that the surname has a longer history in those countries, but it is difficult to ascertain its age or origin. Nevertheless, it is clear that the surname has many spellings and variants which all share a common Germanic root.

Famous people with the name Gaenslen

  • Win Gaenslen: Win Gaenslen was the Brooklyn Dodgers' equipment manager for 37 years. He served under six different managers and during his Rose Bowl appearances. Win also supervised the Dodgers' and the Mets' traveling staff during his tenure.
  • Leonard Gaenslen: Leonard Gaenslen was an American politician who served as mayor of Appleton, Wisconsin, from 1939 to 1953. He was an advocate for public health, education, and housing during his time in office.
  • Brian Gaenslen: Brian Gaenslen is an American long-distance runner and triathlete. He is a two-time winner of the Ironman Wisconsin and has competed in dozens of Ironman and half Ironman races.
  • Henry Gaenslen: Henry Gaenslen was a 19th-century German-American who founded a brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His brewery was popular for producing many different styles of beer.
  • Erwin Gaenslen: Erwin Gaenslen was a German-American opera singer and impresario who managed the Gaenslen Grand Opera House in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was a passionate lover of music and hosted performances by some of the most famous singers in North America during the latter half of the 19th century.
  • Vitalis Gaenslen: Vitalis Gaenslen is a former German-American professional basketball player who played for the Milwaukee Bucks, Houston Rockets, and Golden State Warriors. He was drafting in 1985 and went on to have a successful professional career in the NBA.
  • Augusta Gaenslen: Augusta Gaenslen was an American artist who is most famous for her works in ceramic, glass, and fiber art. She was considered a breakthrough female artist in the late 19th century, and her works are still admired and appreciated.

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