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Surname Obermaier - Meaning and Origin

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Obermaier: What does the surname Obermaier mean?

The last name Obermaier is of German origin and is derived from the German cities where the family first settled, namely Obermeier, Obermeer, and Obermeir. In German, the name literally means “upper mayor”, indicating that the name could refer to either a mayor of a city or a high ranking official. It is likely that those with the last name Obermaier are descendants of officials or mayors in one of the three cities.

The surname Obermaier first became prominent in Bavarian history, when one Adolf Obermaier became a notable statesman in the late 1400s. Members of the Obermaier family were prominent and often served in high-ranking positions in government in Bavaria. The most famous Obermaier is Johann Friedrich Obermaier (1614-1688), an influential salian canonist and professor of law.

Today, the Obermaier surname is still common in the area of Bavaria and other parts of Germany. It is also present in other countries around the world due to the activity of emigration in the nineteenth century. Those with this surname are often connected to their Bavarian roots, making the family name even more meaningful.

Obermaier: Where does the name Obermaier come from?

The last name Obermaier is most commonly seen today in Bavaria, Germany. According to a records search by, the use of the surname Obermaier dates back to the 1700s in Bavaria. Records also indicate that the surname can be traced back to Switzerland, where it was believed to have originated.

Obermaier is believed to be an occupational surname, originating in the ancestral village of Obermaier. It is often thought that the original word 'Ober' was used to describe the high status of those living in this village. During the 18th century, there was also a trend of adding the suffix -maier to referred to workers and tradespeople. It is believed that the combination of these two words formed into the modern name.

The surname Obermaier is still popular in Bavaria, where it is believed that it was first used, though many people with the last name can be found across Germany. It can also be seen outside of the country in countries such as the United States and Canada, which is likely due to emigration.

Overall, the frequency of the last name Obermaier is greatest in Bavaria, Germany and has been in use for hundreds of years. Its popularity both within Germany and abroad is likely to continue as more and more people connect with their roots and continue to share the surname with family members around the world.

Variations of the surname Obermaier

The surname Obermaier is commonly seen in Germany and other parts of Europe as a variant of the German surname Obermeier. It is derived from the Old German root for ‘upper’ and ‘mayer’ which means 'Mayor'. It might also be an occupational name for someone who is a mayor of an upper village or from higher grounds.

The variants of Obermaier include Obermeier, Ober Mayor, Obermeyer and Obermayer.

Spelling variations of Obermaier can be Obermaire, Auvermeyer, Owermayer, Owermeyer, Ebermayer, Ebermeyer, Ebermaier, Eberemeyer, Obrmayer, Obrmeier and Ubrmayer.

Surnames that have similar origins as Obermaier include Oberheim, Oberheide, Oberschmidt, Obergeorge, Oberdorf, and Oberlin.

It is quite common to find different spellings for a single surname. Changing a surname to modify the spelling can be due to different influences like language, geographical region or even religion which led to the adoption of different forms of the original name. Migration of people across Europe has also been an important factor in the variants a single surname can take.

Famous people with the name Obermaier

  • Toni Obermaier: German politician based in Bavaria and member of the Social Democratic Party.
  • Max Obermaier: German physician and politician based in Bavaria. He was the Minister of Health and Environment in Bavaria from 1988 to 1993.
  • Michael Obermaier: Austrian alpine skier who won a bronze medal in the Giant Slalom at the 1992 Winter Olympics.
  • Edit Obermaier: German alpine skier who won a bronze medal at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
  • Richard Obermaier: Austrian footballer who played for FC Bayern Munich from 1961 to 1972.
  • Herbert Obermaier: German ski jumper who won three Medals at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck.
  • Paul Obermaier: German surgeon who became an important pioneer in the field of rehabilitation.
  • Lore Obermaier: German jazz singer and entertainer.
  • Klaus Obermaier: Austrian theater and media artist.
  • Margarete Obermaier: German sculptor and caricaturist.

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