Study

Schmit, the most common Luxemburgish name

A study by the University of Luxembourg analyses the Luxembourg surnames in the Grand Duchy

Le nom de famille luxembourgeois le plus répandu est SchmitSchmit, Müller, Weber, Hoffmann: these are the most common Luxembourg surnames in the Grand Duchy. That's what reveals a study by Peter Gilles and his team of the University of Luxembourg who analysed the surnames of the Luxembourg citizens. The result is the publication of a book on the Luxembourg surnames, the "Luxemburger Familiennamenbuch". The latter analyses 2,656 Luxembourg surnames according to the type of name, the etymology, the linguistic development and the geographical extent.

One has to know that the use of a surname is way more recent than the one of the first name. It dates back to the 15th or 16th century and refers to a profession, a specific characteristic, the birth place, etc. The origin of such a practice lies in the countries in the south of Europe, like Italy. If the surname was above all a byname at the beginning, it obtained a certain degree of autonomy over the years to become an integral part of our identity afterwards.

During their research, Peter Gilles and his team based themselves on the baptismal registers, the registers of marriages and on similar documents. They only focused on the names that already existed during the census of 1880, because they wanted to avoid taking into account names coming from a recent wave of immigration. Thus, 8,561 names have been retained, of which the most common 2,656 have been analysed according to their origin and their geographical extent. Finally it is to mention that the German spelling imposed itself over the years. This is due to the fact that Luxembourgish wasn't a written language at the time.

Here are the top 50 of the most common Luxembourg surnames according to their occurrence in the Grand Duchy (Source: telephone book of the Editus editions 2009 / Luxemburger Familiennamenbuch):

1) Schmit 1515
2) Muller 1097
3) Weber 1059
4) Hoffmann 1017
5) Wagner 1004
6) Thill 791
7) Schmitz 722
8) Schroeder 616
9) Reuter 534
10) Klein 521
11) Becker 496
12) Kieffer 496
13) Kremer 493
14) Faber 454
15) Weis 420
16) Schneider 415
17) Simon 415
18) Welter 410
19) Schiltz 405
20) Meyer 403
21) Majerus 389
22) Ries 376
23) Hansen 370
24) Meyers 357
25) Krier 341
26) Kayser 340
27) Steffen 332
28) Diederich 317
29) Schumacher 310
30) Braun 309
31) Wagener 305
32) Kirsch 293
33) Molitor 291
34) Reding 283
35) Scholtes 275
36) Theis 272
37) Theisen 268
38) Flammang 261
39) Marx 258
40) Goergen 249
41) Weiler 239
42) Da Silva 239
43) Wolff 237
44) Lentz 236
45) Goedert 230
46) Jacoby 221
47) Nilles 220
48) Jung 218
49) Huberty 218
50) Heinen 213

(Article written by the editorial team of the portal www.luxembourg.lu/ source: University of Luxembourg)

  • Updated 25-03-2016