This site explores the Historical Roots of my Family
I am Keith Kaul and if you have the patience, you are about to view some detail of my families history. If you are a genealogy buff these boring details may entertain you, however if such is not the case I will try and amuse the non believers with a bit of trivia, to include the origin of names, hearaldry, the odd little story of interest.
The surnames of the four main branches of my family tree are Kaul, Jarhaus, Rennie and Endecott. The lesser branches are Steinwandt, Hienrichson, Weisser and others. The historical timeline of this exercise includes only those ancestors that are in a direct genealogical line, it does include the names of those outside the direct line ie brothers, sisters, uncles ,aunts and those related by marriage.
I have included a look-up page in this site, which will allow access to the more important sources of my research. The page also has a search engine and should you have queries, an email link to mysef.
Historically, surnames have served as a fingerprint of life, perhaps a basic clue to one's personality. Knowledge of naming practices, generally comes from our ancestral countries of origin and can sometimes help trace our respective families back to a village or a place, tell us their occupation, or it can give us an idea of what our ancestors looked like. The intriguing story of surnames dates back thousands of years. How and where they began, what they originally meant, and their various spellings, is called the study of onomastics.
The first known people to acquire surnames were the Chinese. Legens suggest that the Emperor Fushi decreed the use of surnames, or family names, about 2852 B.C. In early times, the Romans had only one name. However they later changed to using three names. The given name stood first and was called the "praenomen". This was followed by the "nomen" which designates the gens, or clan. The last name designates the family and is called the "cognomen". Some Romans added a fourth name, the "agonomen", to commemerate an illustrious action, or a remarkable event.
The modern hereditary use of surnames was a practice that originated among the Venetian aristocracy about the 10th or 11th centuries. Crusaders returning from the Holy Land took note of the custom and soon spread its use throughout Europe. Family names have come down to us in various ways. They may have grown out of a person's sorroundings or job, or the name of an ancestor. Most surnames evolved from four general sources:
(1) Occupation: derived from a person's profession such as house builder, taylor, barrel maker, etc.
(2) Location: This origin is from one's residence or maby work place. John who lived over the hill, became John Overhill or William by the brook, became William Brook. many locational names originated as placenames.
(3) Patronymic: fathers name, which can usually be recognized by a prefix or suffix. Mac in MacDonald, or son in Johnson and so on.
(4) Characteristic; these name origins are a bit more complex as they include nicknames. Usually they originate from the appearance of a person, such as small, short, tall, or looks like an animal such as a fox, fish or dove. The color of one's hair or complexion is another, such as white or redman.
Surename spellings and pronunciation has evolved over the centuries, with our generation often unaware of the origin and evolution of their surnames. The most obvious source of spelling changes is the language of origin. For example the German spelling for George is not the same as the English. Among the humbler classes of society, and especially among the illiterate, individuals had little choice but to accept the mistakes of local authority recorders, clerks, immigration officials, and priests who officially bestowed upon them new versions of their surname. Many immigrants deliberately Anglicized or changed their surname upon arrival in the new world.
Gleaning through the various sources of research material I have turned up many different versions of our ancestors surnames. I will make no attempt to standardise them, but show them as they were originally recorded.
Let's have a look at the origins of our family names
Kaul; the surname is of occupational origin. Earliest references to the name date back in history to the year 1348, when there was mention of one Henningh Kaul. My research indicates that it is associated with the German meaning, " one who operates a small workshop". Although this interpretation is the result of onomastic reaserch, you may find other meanings. The surname Kaul as we know it has had a remarkable evolution, with early examples such as Caudl, Caul and Kauhl. Some present day examples have the suffix er, man, bach and ski. All of these examples are still in use today, however, we can only be sure of the common root, which is German. The color Azure (Blue) in the coat of arms of the Kaul family symbolizes Loyalty and Trust and reflects the hopes, aspirations and ambitions of it's original bearer.
Jarhaus; the surname is of location origin. Earliest references to the name date back in history to the year 1286, when one Georg Adam Jarhaus was mentioned. The suffix "haus", house in German, suggests that the meaning may be a home or a certian building, eg; manor house or inn.There are two conflicting versions of the surname, (1) Jarhaus, the German spelling and (2) Jahraus the American spelling, suggesting that U.S. Immigration supplied their own version, which changes the meaning. Other versions are Jarosch, Jahreis and Jareis. The German Jarhaus coat of arms has a silver field with a dragon's head, while the arms representing the Jahraus spelling has a field of gold, which symbolizes Generousity and Elevation of Mind. It also reflects the hopes, ambitions and aspirations of its original bearer, which ever way you spell it. Regardless of the spelling, one must reference both surnames, as Jarhaus and Jahraus are the same family.
Rennie; is Scottish, tracing their ancestral roots back to Pictish origin. It first appeared in the medieval records in the Scottish County of Angus. One of the earliest records was a John Rennie in the year 1362. The family name Rennie actually comes from of a fathers first name, one Renold the original bearer, which would make the surname of Patronymic in origin.The name is found with a veriety of spellings, mainley Renny, Rainy and Rainnie. The surname has a suspected French connection where it is spelled Renne, the meaning deer or raindeer. The color gold in the Rennie arms symbolizes Generosity and Evolution of Mind.
Endecott; is English, tracing their ancestral roots back to Anglo-Saxon origin. The surname first appeared in the medievel records in Devonshire in the various spellings of Ynndecote, Yendicott, Endecote Endecott and others.. The name is of location/residence origin, meaning "he who lives in the end cottage". The family not only held lands and estates in England, but were also actively allied with other influential families. The color Argent (silver) on the family coat of arms symbolizes Peace and Security. There are two accepted spellings, Endecott and Endicott. They are both the same family, no history is complete unless both names are researched.
Family surnames of lesser branches
The surnames highlited are those that I consider to have made important heridatory comtributions.
Andrews Barneth Bender Birthman Bishop Blaeser Borrows Brandner Brooks Cangin Chalmers DeSpain Delevane Dever Duppinthaller Dutt Estacaille Endecott Endicott Gademeir Gibson Gillam Gouer Gaub Gunther Haerrer Hagel Haines Hammond Harsha Hays Hehter Heinrichson Hill Hirschmann Hood Huber Jarhaus Jahraus Johns Jung Kaul Kirschenmann Kraenzler Leach Leischner Logan Loten McGreger Maisch Martin McCaig McCormick Medart Moir Morlock Mortiz Morton Nation Opp Reeder Rennie Reno Riechert Reichert Richart Ross Roth Russell Schoell Schnabel Searcy Seeger Small Smith Sobart Staus Steinwandt Stumpp Sushford Taylor Thomason Thomson Trail Utke Vanderbash Veitch Wagner Weisser Welsh Werre Wessel Wittmayer
What is a name? That which we call a rose; by any other name would smell so sweet.