Origin of the Wittrock Surname

Several sources have indicated that the Wittrock surname is derived from the German words "weiss" and "rock." In modern German, these words translate as "white" and "skirt." In older time, "rock" may have referred more generally to clothing.

The following information was provided by Jacqueline (Wittrock) Riekena of Missoula, Montana:

Source:  The Historical Research Center.

The German surname Wittrock is believed by eytmologists to be of nickname origin. Nickname surnames are those names which derive their origin from a physical characteristic or personal attribute of the initial bearer. In this instance, the surname Wittrock is a variant of the surname Weissrock, referring to the color of clothes, thus being a nickname for someone with a particular color of clothes.

Family names are infinitely more varied than personal names, having been culled from more diverse sources, having under gone more changes of form, and having come from more diverse sources, and it has been said that family names did not come into general employ until late in the Middles Ages. First of all, the nobility in the twelfth century called themselves after their ancestral seats. Such surnames were usually prefixed by "von". Then, among the citizens they were adopted in the fourteenth century, but did not become general until the sixteenth century.

Variants of the surname Wittrock are Weissrock and Weisrock. Reference to this surname or to a variant includes a record of Arnd Witterok, a citizen from Hannover in 1443. One Ludeke Wytterock was a citizen fro Hameln in 1469. Everhardus Victus Witterok from Hamburg was recorded in 1299. One Cunca Wissrock was a citizen from Wuerzburg recorded in 1409. [Note: All of these places are in Northern Germany, within 50 to 100 miles of Vechta, where our Wittrocks originated.]


The following information, taken from the Danish dictionary, was provided by Bendt Wittrock Jespersen of Stege, Denmark:

Source: Nudansk ordbog, Politikens Forlag A/S, Copenhagen, 13. edt. 2. 1987. ISBN 87-567-4092-1

Definition: Wittrock, SN; indlaant fra tysk; af aeldre plattysk wit hvid, og rock frakke; oprind. tilnavn.

Translation (provided by Bendt Wittrock Jesperson):

Wittrock = Wittrock
SN = "SN" is the book's code for "family name"
indlaant = borrowed or lent into the Danish language
fra = from
tysk = German (language)
af = from
aeldre = older
plattysk = german dialect
wit hvid = wit white
og = and
rock frakke = rock coat or jacket
oprind = originally
tilnavn = nickname

This definition indicates that the Danish Wittrock name came into Denmark from Germany. The name is derived from the Old German version of the words "white" and "coat/jacket" and it was originally a nickname.



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