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Surname Wolbers - Meaning and Origin

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Wolbers: What does the surname Wolbers mean?

The surname Wolbers is an occupational name associated with shepherds, derived from the German and Dutch word “wolberen” meaning “to watch over” or “to care for”. Records of the surname can be found as early as the 17th century, indicating that the name originated in the Netherlands and Germany. In the United States, the name is most-commonly found in some of the Dutch-settled regions of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, such as Michigan, and the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

The occupational name fits well with the traditional shepherding work of the region. Beyond the literal “watchful” duties of caring for flocks, shepherds before the industrial revolution had many varied roles, often working with their hands to create and manage hand-crafted fabrics for weaving, such as wool and linen. Beyond the sheep’s’ wool, the material made from the natural fibers of the cows, goats, and alpacas was used to provide shelter and clothing for the family, leading to a long history of the Wolbers’ as craftspeople and artisans.

Today, the legacy of Wolbers carries on in this way, with descendants full of creative talent and an affinity for working and creating with their hands. Those who carry the name celebrate their forefathers who were responsible for these hardworking, craft-making practices and are proud of their history as makers of unique, quality products.

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Wolbers: Where does the name Wolbers come from?

The last name Wolbers is most commonly found in Germany today, and particularly in North Rhine Westphalia in the western part of the country. It is believed that the name originates from a Germanic surname, probably derived from the surname 'Wolbhard', which is composed of two words: 'Wol', meaning 'wolf', and 'berhart', meaning 'shining' or 'bright'. The first recorded mention of the Wolbers name was in the 13th century, when a certain 'Gottfried Wolbers' was documented in the records of a local monastery.

The name can be found elsewhere in Europe, though it is much less common. It has spread to many English-speaking countries, particularly the United States, where it was likely taken by German immigrants. It is also thought to be found in North Africa, though due to lack of consistent record keeping it is hard to determine the exact number of families with this name.

The Wolbers name, though it is not as common as some, can still be found throughout the world today, offering a unique glimpse into the rich history of German culture.

Variations of the surname Wolbers

The surname Wolbers is a Dutch topographic name for someone who lived in a woods or forest, or by a patch of land that had trees. The name is derived from the Dutch word "wollebak" which translates to "wood-back". Variants of the name include Wolbors, Wolburs, Walbers, Walbors, Walburs and Wallbers. Additionally, spellings of the name can include Wulbers, Wulbors, Wulburs, Wulburz, Wulbofs, Wulbufs and Wulbofz.

Despite the numerous different spellings of the name Wolbers, all are variants of the same origin. Although the name can be found in several countries including the Netherlands, Germany and France, it also appears amongst the Dutch-American population. Surnames originating from the German and Dutch settlers have grown exponentially since the start of the Great Migration in the 17th century.

However, some of the variants of the original surname Wolbers can be found in records dating back to the 12th century. The earliest known record of the name is that of Uuolbert Worta, who is listed in the Pipinregister of Jumièges Abbey in 1112.

Through the centuries, variants of the surname have appeared in numerous records all across Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and France. Furthermore, a large number of the Dutch-American population can trace their roots back to the original Dutch Wolbers name.

Famous people with the name Wolbers

  • Robert Wolbers: Actor and Producer best known for roles in the Netflix original series, Stranger Things and films such as Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch has a Glitch.
  • Ellen Wolbers: Dutch Actress and Singer who had a recurring role in 1001 Gram and was a member of the band Jamstreet.
  • Paul Wolbers: Business Owner from Netherlands who is a Renewable Energy specialist focusing on green technology.
  • Emir Wolbers: Dutch Singer and half of the infamous electronic duo W&W.
  • Mark Wolbers: Singer/Songwriter and musician from Forbes, who released the critically acclaimed album, Under The Radar.
  • Jeremy Wolbers: Dutch artist and sculptor known for creating large-scale, environmentally conscious sculptures.
  • Christine Wolbers: German Fashion Designer who is best known for her line of luxury scarves.
  • Daniel Wolbers: Professional Day Trader and Finance expert from Canada who has written numerous articles about financial markets.
  • Norbert Wolbers: German Actor best known for roles in the films The Illusion of Truth and Die Verlorene Vergangenheit.
  • Marije Wolbers: Dutch Author and Journalist who wrote several books on politics and culture from a feminist perspective.

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