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Friday, June 12, 2015

WHERE DO WE COME FROM ?? FAMILY NAME: NEVINGER - NABINGER – NOVINGER

Family surnames were first used about 800 years ago in Europe and from 1200 to 1600 there was little or no registration and archival of information on the names and lives of commoners. So it is a challenge to determine the origin of our Family Name. The Novinger spelling of our Family name, is documented in the United States from the early 1700’s. The Nabinger spelling is recorded from 1600 in Frankenstein and what is now Rheinland-Pflaz, Germany, also known as Rhineland-Palatinate. But so far, we have not been able to find a record for our name prior to 1600 or determine with certainty where our family originated prior to their arrival in Frankenstein.




Hermann Nabinger
&
Glen Novinger
in
Frankenstein





But thanks to some additional research from our cousin, Hermann Nabinger, who was born in Frankenstein and now lives in Ludwigshafen, Rheinland-Pflaz, I am happy to pass on to you the following comments which come from his research.

Family names in Germany developed during medieval times. At first people had only a first name. In a small village where people knew each other it wasn't much of a problem. But later, when the cities began to grow and people needed to distinguish between several people with the same first name in a village, they added individual identifiers for each person.

So when one of the "Peters" was a smith, he would be named after his profession:  "Peter Smith".  Or, if a person came from a town with an ending such as in "
Altoetting", his name might end with the suffix "ing" as in the town, or "inger" to indicate the person's hometown. Many places in south Germany, Switzerland, and Austria have the suffix "-ing".  

Hermann consulted two family name researchers, Brechenmacher and Max Gottschald, who are of the opinion that the Nabinger and Nevinger Family name appears to originate as the name of a craftsman.  This craftsman specialized in crafting the “hub”, or in German “nabe or plural: naben”, by drilling the axle hole in the hub of a wooden wheel for carts.

But a Swiss name history scholar, contacted by Hermann, is of the opinion that our Family name is from Nebikon, a municipality in the constituency of Willisau in the canton of Lucerne, Switzerland. It was the Swiss scholar’s opinion that our name is a “place of origin” name. A resident of Nebikon is known as a “Nebiker” and the suspected evolution and modification of our name might of progressed orally through: Nebiker, Nebiger, Neviger, and Nevinger. There are still families in the areas of Basel and Prattein, Switzerland, with the  Nebiker name.

Around 1600 Swiss Nebiker families emigrated from Switzerland to the Strasbourg area of Alsace and then moved further north to the area of Heiligenstein, a commune in the Bas-Rhin department of Alsace in northeastern France where Nebinger families are today active as wine growers. Another part of the family moved to Lorraine, near the German border where they founded the village of Nebing that was German until 1915. Nebing remains a active community today in the Moselle department of Lorraine. It is interesting to point out that Nebing is located only 55 kilometers from Saarbrucken.  In 2015 most of the Nabingers in Germany live within 50 kilometers of Saarbrucken.

After the Nebiker’s moved to the Alsace and Lorraine area we see the name appear with various modified spellings such as: Nebinger, Nabinger, Ewing, and Nawinger.  The Nawinger spelling and pronunciation, is possibly the basis of the “Novinger” spelling and pronunciation of that part of the Family in the United States, where in the 1700’s we also saw spellings such as Nauvinger, Nabinger, and Navinger.

At the present time this is the most complete information and understanding we have on the Origin of our Clan.  Hopefully, we will discovery more verifiable data on our origins. But at this point it would appear that the Nevingers, Nabingers, and the Novingers are directly descended from common roots in what is now northern Switzerland.  Strangely enough, 60 years ago my Grandparents generation told me that we came from the area of Lake Constance in northern Switzerland. And on my first visit to Frankenstein, Germany, in 2010 I asked one of my cousins, Liesel Nabinger, where our Family came from and she said “My grandfather told me our Family came from northern Switzerland.”.  



Liesel Nabinger
&
Glen Novinger
in
Frankenstein







Perhaps our oral history has prevailed where no written history existed!

4 comments:

João Pedro B. Nabinger said...

Muito boa a pesquisa. São informações que eu desconhecia.

Obrigado

João Pedro Nabinger

João Pedro B. Nabinger said...


Muito boa a pesquisa. São informações que eu desconhecia totalmente.

João Pedro Nabinger

João Pedro B. Nabinger said...


Desculpe, minha família esta no Brasil, na Cidade de Porto Alegre, Estado do Rio Grande do Sul.

João Pedro Nabinger

Margit Myers said...

I am tracing family on Ancestry.com and Dewalt Novinger is my 5th great-grandfather on my dad's side. Margaret Ann Novinger married John Albert Myers in 1880 in Missouri. I came across your blog and wanted to say thanks for the information!