what would the Health name be translated from German

+7 votes
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My 4xgreat grand father was first generation German. I don't know where in Germany he was from or the exact year he immigrated to the U.S. I'm figuring 1770+/-. His son Francis Health was born in Philadelphia in 1804/05. My question is could the name Health be translated from a German name to the American name Health?  I know very little about this side of the family.
in The Tree House by Paula Maiore G2G3 (3.7k points)
Well, Health in German (Deutsch) would be "Gesundheit", and I doubt that's a valid last name, but I could be wrong.
Thank you Scott. I was talking to a neighbor who is German and I told him of my problem. He said it was not uncommon to have the name changed when a family from a foreign country entered the US. He said Health is not a German name but if you dropped the last and also the first letter that could be the name. I am still working on it so if anyone could help  I would appreciate it.  The name again Health entering the U.S. around 1780+/- 10 yrs I don't have his first name. His son Francis was born in 1804/1805 in Philadelphia. I'm trying to find their German name.
Changing to Health from a name that sounds like it makes more sense. The only way for Gesund or Gesundheit to become Health would be if either the immigrant spoke English or the Immigration officer spoke German.

It doesn't even have to be that close--I remember my school friend's last name was Smith, and he said it used to be Smyka in Czechoslovakia.

1 Answer

+2 votes
It could be that the name was written down by someone in immigration who wrote it as it sounded to them. My guess, as a speaker of German, is that it could have been Held or Heldt, meaning hero. That is a real German surname.
by Susan Scarcella G2G6 Mach 7 (71.0k points)
edited by Susan Scarcella

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