Müller, Meier, Schulze…

The surnames were gradually introduced in Germany from about the 14th century. They were mostly derived from the professions. However, the origin or a distinctive physical characteristic could also be used to form the name.

Here is the list of the 10 most common surnames you will encounter during your visit to Germany.

  1. Müller – ca. 945.000x (Derived: Operator of a mill for grinding flour)
  2. Schmidt – ca. 715.000x (Derived: blacksmith)
  3. Schneider – ca. 435.000x
  4. Fischer – ca. 375.000x
  5. Weber – ca. 325.000x
  6. Meyer – ca. 320.000x (Derived: official title of a landed property administrator at that time)
  7. Wagner ca. 300.000x (Derived: manufacturer of wheels and agricultural vehicles)
  8. Becker – ca. 280.000x (Derived: baker)
  9. Schulz – ca. 275.000x (Derived: Schultheiss – official who makes sure that everything is in order in a municipality)
  10. Hoffmann – ca. 185.000x (Derived: formerly servant farmer)