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Surname Hermessen - Meaning and Origin

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Hermessen: What does the surname Hermessen mean?

The last name Hermessen is of German origin. The meaning of the name is derived from the combination of herm and essen, two Old German words meaning “sword” and “eat” respectively. As a result, Hermessen can be roughly translated to mean “one who eats with a sword”.

The earliest known instances of the Hermessen surname first appeared in records in the 15th century, where it was known to be held by a few landholding families in the northern regions of Germany. The name is most common in the areas surrounding the towns of Osnabrück and Münster.

In the modern day, the Hermessen name is still mostly concentrated in Germany, but there are now citizens of the name in other parts of the world which can be attributed to the migration of Germans in the 19th and 20th century.

The Hermessen name carries a certain historical weight, as it was held by some prominent figures in German history. Some of the more well-known Hermessens include Franz Hermann Friedrich Hermessen, a 19th century German-born patriot, and Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Hermessen, a loyal soldier to the Prussian King.

As a result of generations of history, the name Hermessen today continues to represent strength, courage, and resilience; qualities which are mirrored in the symbolism of the name’s original meaning.

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Hermessen: Where does the name Hermessen come from?

The last name Hermessen is most commonly found in Germany today. It is a locational surname, with its earliest known documentations linked to the region of Westphalia, Germany. A census record from the mid-eighteenth century shows the surname first recorded in the small rural city of Borgholzhausen, also located within Westphalia.

Today, a vast majority of people with the last name Hermessen live in Germany with the highest concentrations in the states of North-Rhine Westphalia and Lower Saxony. The number of people with the surname is estimated to be just over 1,800. Outside of Germany there is a much lower population of around two hundred, with the Netherlands, United States, Canada and France being the countries with the most residents of the surname.

Aside from those areas of Germany, the surname is used by those descendants who have emigrated to other parts of the world. For example, this name can be found in places such as the United States, Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand. The GEDCOM archives reveal multiple Hermessen families coming to the US from Germany in the late 1800s and early 1900s, primarily settling in Wisconsin and Texas.

In recent times, the Hermessen name remains slow-moving throughout the world, particularly in Germany. Still, those with the surname are able to trace it back to its source in Westphalia, and are a proud part of the distinguished family.

Variations of the surname Hermessen

The surname Hermessen has various spellings and similar surnames of the same origin. The most common variants are Hermansen and Hermannsen, with the former being the Dutch spelling while the latter is the German spelling. Other variants used include Hermanse, Hermanse(n), Hermans, Hermanns, and Herriman.

In the Netherlands, variants of the name can also be found written as Hermans,Hermans(en), Hermens, Herremans, Hermanson or Harmsen. Variants recorded in the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark usually include one or more of the letter double S.

In parts of the United States, the surname is often spelled as Harrington or Harman. Irish, English and Scottish variants of the family name are Harrington, Herringson, Herrin, Herington, Herrinston or Harington.

A large number of variants, including Harringa, Herringa and Harrington, evolved from the Dutch terms for ‘herring’, ‘herring river’ or ‘herring place’. In England, the Herriman surname is often found. The later Harriman combines the English-Scottish word ‘herring’ with the Norse ‘man’.

In total, more than 200 variants of the Hermessen surname exist, including Harman, Herriman, Harrington, Herringson, Herrin, Herington, Hermanse, Hermens, Hermans, Hermanns, Harmsen and Hermanson.

Famous people with the name Hermessen

  • Alexander Hermessen: Dutch visual artist known for his vibrant, abstract works.
  • Jelle Hermessen: Dutch actor, best known for his roles in "Knights of the Sun" and "Buitenlanders."
  • Evan Hermessen: Dutch singer-songwriter and producer, who released his debut album “Falling in Amsterdam” in 2018.
  • Toes Hermessen: Dutch actress, best known for her roles in “De Moeder” and “My Happy Family.”
  • Mark Hermessen: Dutch composer and musician, best known for his work in the musical group ILIOS.
  • Marijke Hermessen: Dutch psychotherapist and author, who has written several books on mental health and personal development.
  • Jorrit Hermessen: Dutch visual artist and film maker, best known for his surrealist art films.
  • Pieter Hermessen: Dutch actor who has starred in several popular films and television series such as “Spion van Oranje” and “Soldaat van Oranje.”
  • Dirk Hermessen: Dutch professional basketball player who plays for the Dutch Premier Basketball League.
  • Gijs Hermessen: Dutch graphic designer and illustrator, who has created artwork for publications and exhibitions.

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