Notes Regarding Spelling

German/Germann/Görmann/Goermann line:
The spelling of our surname changed over time. In the Catholic church records of Önsbach and Fautenbach, Baden, different priests spelled the surname differently: Görmann, Görrmann, Göhrmann, Göhrmänn, Goerrmann, Goermann, Gehrmänn, and Germann,
but the majority of time it is spelled Görmann (the "English" spelling of which would be Goermann).

I was thrilled to have been contacted by a distant cousin in Germany, a Görmann who is from the town of Önsbach. He says several Görmann families still live in Önsbach (all with that spelling), and that the pronunciation of the name there is Gir-mun (with a hard "g"). (This is also the spelling always used in the book "Familienbuch der Gemeinde Önsbach in Baden", by Eugen Weber, published in 2005.)

Interestingly, in the Önsbach records, the men (fathers, grooms) signed the church record, so we have the
actual signatures of our ancestors. The signatures of Ignatz and his sons, Franz and Paul are below, from the years 1814-1820:

 
Paul and Ignatz Görmann

 
Ignatz Görmann

 
Franz Görmann

 
Franz Görmann


Franz Görmann came to America with his surviving children after the death of his wife. On his tombstone, his last name is spelled "Germann." His son, Basilius, and Basilius' descendants (including myself) took the spelling of "German" (pronouced like the nationality with a soft "g"). I'm still not sure why that change was made, both in spelling and pronunciation. Maybe someday I will be contacted by someone who can answer that question.

One final spelling note, Basilius' wife, Gertrude, spelled her last name as "Sager" once in America. However, back in Germany the surname is clearly and consistently spelled "Seeger."