Arrow Downward Arrow Downward Close Close Done Done Cart Cart clock clock
Personal guidance

We are always happy to help you! Contact us via e-mail or Whatsapp.

If you would like us to call you back, please provide your phone number and how you can be reached. We will be happy to call you for a personal consultation. WhatsApp

Surname Schem - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'S'

Schem: What does the surname Schem mean?

The last name Schem is typically of German origin and is derived from the word "scheme", which can refer to a plan or a structure. Although its exact etymological origin is uncertain, it is thought to be related to the Old High German words “schelm,” which mean mischievous, or “schemel,” which mean shape. It is also possible, though much less likely, that the surname originated from the Old German word “schemah”, which means glory.

The earliest recorded instance of the last name can be attributed to a man by the name of Gottfried Schettl, who was documented in 1398 in the city of Lizzan in Germany. From that time, the last name quickly spread throughout Europe but remained most concentrated in the region of German-speaking countries, such as Germany and Austria.

The use of the last name Schem has remained consistent for centuries and while there are certainly various variations of the spelling, these tend to vary only slightly from the original form. It is a common last name amongst individuals in Europe, with the largest population of Schem’s living in countries such as Slovakia, Germany, and The United States.

Despite its existence since the 14th century, the exact origin and meaning of the last name Schem remains quite obscure and is still largely unknown. However, it is probable that the surname was derived from the German words meaning plan, structure, or mischievousness, indicating that many of those with this last name likely have a passion for being organized and efficient.

Order DNA origin analysis

Schem: Where does the name Schem come from?

The last name Schem is commonly found in several countries around the world. It is particularly common in Germany and other parts of Central and Eastern Europe. The name is also found in Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and other Germanic countries. In the United States, the surname is most popular in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Smaller populations of Schem families are found in other states, as well as other countries, such as Canada, France, Australia, and India.

The surname is of German origin and is generally believed to have derived from the Middle Low German words 'schenken' (to give) and 'scheme' (rule or tithing). It likely refers to someone who is responsible for handing out gifts or tithing. Other variations of the name include Schimm, Schempp, Schemle, and Schimmel.

The name is believed to have been brought to the United States by German immigrants during the late 1700's and early 1800's. Records suggest that some of the first Schem families immigrated to Pennsylvania in the early 1800's. Their descendants, and other Schem family members who immigrated to the New World, eventually spread throughout the United States.

Today, the Schem surname still carries great significance for many families in Germany, the United States, and other parts of the world. It is a reminder of family heritage, a connection to the past, and the ability to trace ancestry back to its European roots.

Variations of the surname Schem

The surname Schem can be spelled in several ways, including Schöm, Schemm, Schimm, Schäm, Schämm, Schuhm, Schum, Schamm, Schammm, Schimmm, Schemmer, Schemel, Schmel, Schemet, Scheml, Schmel, Schmeler, Schmellen, Schmäller, Schmele, Schmill, and Shemmel. These variants all descend back to the originally German surname "Schöm".

The German root of the Schem surname is derived from the word "schöne," which means beautiful; "Schöm" was a nickname given to individuals who were considered attractive. This name is even older than the records of German surnames, so it is believed to have been used for several centuries before finally being passed down as an official surname.

The name has become quite common in several countries and cultures across the world. Variants of the name can be found in places such as Germany, Hungary, Austria, the United States, and even Israel. Some of the Americanized spellings often used in the US include Shemm, Schimm, Schemm, and Schuhm.

In Hungary, the Schöm surname is often written as “Schemm”, while in Israel, the name is written with the Hebrew spelling of “Scham”.

At this time, although it is not known exactly how many people bear the Schem surname, it is believed that the name is quite widespread and popular throughout the world.

Famous people with the name Schem

  • Michael Schem: German guitarist who also created music for video games like “Machinarium” and “Out There”.
  • Aba Schem: Holocaust survivor and renowned Jewish actor who starred in many films.
  • Gerald Schem: American rock singer and songwriter who released his first single at age 18.
  • Tena Schem: former Zambian minister and educational reformer who is credited with the implementation of free education in her home country.
  • Billy Schem: American blues musician known for his renditions of traditional jazz and folk songs.
  • Chaim Schem: Israeli composer, producer, and arranger who has worked on several soundtracks and music for TV series.
  • Jonatan Schem: Swedish award-winning film director known for his work on movies “The White Wave” and “Giants”.
  • Brett Schem: American musician best known for his work in the world music band Brooke Schem.
  • Nancy Schem: renowned dancer from the United States who has received several awards for her performances.
  • Sarah Schem: CEO of a successful software company in Germany and a well-known advocate of diversity in corporate setting.

Other surnames


Write comments or make additions to the name "Schem"

Your origin analysis