Thank you ^^ My google-fu(and my wifes) is quite weak, and after being able to find anything in half an hour we gave up.
Well, I didn't spend half an hour on it, but I have a possible connection.
I found nothing of Hergisheimer, but I did find results for Hergesheimer, which is similar enough that they may be variant spellings of the same name.
I checked on Wikipedia and got four people. Two of whom were in the category "Canadian People of German Descent".
Furthermore, I found a list of German-Jewish surnames that contained it.
So, my analysis indicates that it's likely a very obscure spelling of an obscure name of German-Jewish origin.
If German, which it most probably is, Hergesheim means "Herge's Home", which is a very common type of name for towns and villages in Germany. Hergesheimer would be a person from Hergesheim.
And there is a town called Hargesheim in Southwest Germany.
Hergesheimer wouldn't be be a particularly Jewish name and there have been Hergesheimers in Amerika since the mid 19th century. While that doesn't rule out that the Hergesheimers who migrated to America were Jews, there is nothing that makes it more likely than for any other German imigrants.
Edit: Hold it a second!
There is a house in Norway called Hergisheim. While it's unlikely that this particular place has anything to do with the family, it tells us that Hergis is a spelling of the Name found in Norway, so there might have been, or possibly still be, some villages in Norway also called Hergisheim. As said before, such place names are extremely generic and often show up in multiple places over time.
So my bet would be on Norwegian.
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If I were to take a guess I would say that it was a name taken by 19th C immigrants to the US from Hargesheim, as there seem to be a few references from 1900 but little after I would guess that some people dropped the name in WW1 and WW2 as being to German (allot of people changed there name at that time due to ill feeling against Germans)
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Last edited by GnomeFighter : 10-11-2012 at 03:07 AM.
I know a town called Hergiswil in Switzerland, which is about as far as you can be from Norway and still have Germanic language. So, that might not be a clue. I'll see if there's something coming up here.
Google finds me a lot of Hergesheimer, mostly in America, but a few in Switzerland as well. No results for Hergisheimer
ancestry.com is a great site! I highly recommend it. Start by putting in yourself, then your parents, then your grandparents. That should be enough info for the site to start filling in details, by connnecting names and dates to census records, military records, etc. It is a pay site, but they have a free trial that gives you access to everything during the trial period.
John Ling Frog God Games Lead Pathfinder Developer
Note: unless explicitly stated otherwise, opinions in my posts are my own and not those of Frog God Games.