Is "Graf" a prefix, suffix or a nickname? [closed]

+19 votes
423 views

I recently came across some 731 errors for the use of "Graf" as a prefix.   My understanding is that Graf (male) or Gräfin (female) is a historical title of the German nobility, like Count or Earl

I talked to Aleš and he needs to understand whether this title should be part of his Prefix, suffix or nickname table.   Previously he was told it should be a nickname, and from the definition, I thought it should be a Prefix, but we both know we are not the experts in German titles.

 

closed with the note: Asked and answered
in Policy and Style by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (517k points)
closed by Robin Lee

7 Answers

+18 votes
 
Best answer

If we follow the standards of the European Aristocrats project (yes, I'm aware not everybody likes them), Graf is part of a title. For instance the early Habsburgs were Counts of Habsburg, "Graf von Habsburg". In that case we put the full title "Graf von Habsburg" in the Nicknames field. (Prince, Duke, Comte, Marquis etc... all go in the nickname field. "Seigneur de ...."  and "Dame de..." as well (Euro Aristo profiles trigger lots and lots of "prefix in nickname" and "unique names" false errors).

See Help:Name Fields for European Aristocrats

And here's a good example:

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Solms_Laubach-1

 

by I R G2G6 Pilot (273k points)
selected by Staci Golladay
This is a perfect profile example of the EuroAristo naming standards for WikiTree (what goes in which field). I cleaned after the merges and added the unsourced template while I was there though :-)
Oooh, thanks Emma! I actually had some difficulty findind a profile with the name fields well in place and a good Last Name At Birth, so when I got one I forgot to look at the biography :-)

Just the Grafen of the House Solms-Laubach were titled Graf/Gräfin zu Solms-Laubach ...

+15 votes
I’ve always considered it to be a prefix, like Sir. It means Count and Grafin is Countess
by Deborah Talbot G2G6 Mach 3 (39.6k points)
+11 votes

Graf Name Meaning. German: status name from Middle High German grave, grabe, which was used as a title denoting various more or less aristocratic dignitaries and officials. In later times it became established as a title of nobility equivalent to the Romance count.

Graf Name Meaning & Graf Family History at Ancestry.com

https://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=graf

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
Graf can be a surname.

Milton Frank Graf

Boarder

United States Census, 1940

birth: 1916 WISCONSIN

residence: 1940 Ward 2, Wilmington, Representative District 1, New Castle, Delaware, United States

 

   

Albert Graf

Head

United States Census, 1940

birth: 1887 Germany

residence: 1940 Ward 2, Wilmington, Representative District 1, New Castle, Delaware, United States

   

Max P Graf

Head

United States Census, 1940

birth: 1897 Switzerland

residence: 1940 Pueblo, Election Precinct 40, Pueblo, Colorado, United States

spouse: Marie Graf

children: Loyd Graf, Arnold Graf   

 

 

John A Graf

Head

United States Census, 1940

birth: 1908 Kansas

residence: 1940 Telluride, Election Precinct 2, San Miguel, Colorado, United States

spouse: Catherine J Graf

child: John E Graf    

 

 

Catherine J Graf Wife

United States Census, 1940

birth: 1913 Kansas

residence: 1940 Telluride, Election Precinct 2, San Miguel, Colorado, United States

spouse: John A Graf

child: John E Graf

 

   

John E Graf

Son

United States Census, 1940

birth: 1934 Illinois

residence: 1940 Telluride, Election Precinct 2, San Miguel, Colorado, United States

father: John A Graf

mother: Catherine J Graf    

 

 

Rudolph Graf

Head

United States Census, 1940

birth: 1884 Wisconsin

residence: 1940 Election Precinct 50, Weld, Colorado, United States

spouse: Carrie V Graf

 

   

Carrie V Graf

Wife

United States Census, 1940

birth: 1886 Kansas

residence: 1940 Election Precinct 50, Weld, Colorado, United States

spouse: Rudolph Graf

 

   

George Graf

Head

United States Census, 1940

birth: 1890 Russia

residence: 1940 Ward 2, Greeley, Greeley City, Weld, Colorado, United States

spouse: Kathyrn Graf

children: Edward Graf, Alex Graf

 

   

Kathyrn Graf

Wife

United States Census, 1940

birth: 1890 Russia

residence: 1940 Ward 2, Greeley, Greeley City, Weld, Colorado, United States

spouse: George Graf

children: Edward Graf, Alex Graf

 

   

Edward Graf

Son

United States Census, 1940

birth: 1919 Colorado

residence: 1940 Ward 2, Greeley, Greeley City, Weld, Colorado, United States

father: George Graf

mother: Kathyrn Graf

other: Alex Graf    

 

 

   

Lillie L Graf

Head

United States Census, 1940

birth: 1888 Kansas

residence: 1940 Tract 1, Denver, Election District A, Denver, Colorado, United States

 

   

Hanse Richard Graf

Head

United States Census, 1940

birth: 1890 Germany

residence: 1940 Tract 3, Denver, Election District B, Denver, Colorado, United States

spouse: Myrtle Graf

other: Esther Williams
+6 votes

Chart of English Language Roots - PrefixSuffix.com

www.prefixsuffix.com/rootchart.php

  1.  
  2.  

This list is a small portion of our 2,000 word root database which you can search using our root search engine. ..... graph, gram, graf, write, written, draw, graph, graphic, autograph, .... onym, name, anonymous,pseudonym, antonym, synonym.

Root Words, Prefixes, Suffixes - Easy to learn English

www.betterendings.org/homeschool/words/root%20words.htm

  1.  
  2.  

Home › Homeschool › Roots, Prefixes and Suffixes. Root Words | Suffix | ... graph-. writing, printing. graphology, biography, telegraph, geography. gym. naked ... part, segment. mere. meta ... synonym, acronym, anonymous, pseudonym. odonto.

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
+10 votes
It is certainly not a nickname. It is a title that is actually part of the name. As in "Friedrich, Graf von Oberdorff." Unfortunately Wiki does not have the software to accommodate complicated compound names.
by Daniel Bly G2G6 Mach 2 (23.8k points)
Just for clarification: Titles were not part of the name in German speaking countries before WWI, your example was simply Given Name Friedrich, Family Name von Oberdorff. Austria abolished both titles and the "von" after WWI so he would have been Friedrich Oberdorff if he were Austrian. Germany abolished only the privileges associated with the titles and made the titles legally part of the Family Name, so in Germany after WWI he would have been legally Friedrich Graf von Oberdorff.
Thank you for clarifying how things have changed since WWI. However, I was assuming that the questioner was referring to an historical time frame and in my experience with 16th, 17th and 18th century German records "noble" titles from lowly Freiherr to Herzog and Furst, were always used as part of the name.
Did you notice how you called him?  First name COMMA title. The nickname field isn't just for diminutives, but for other ways people were known.  That makes the nickname field appropriate.
+2 votes
Things are a bit more complicated. Graf can be both a title (like count), but it often also is a normal name. When it is followed by something else (like a town name or the like), it's a title. If it is the last part of a name, it is the normal surname.

One possible origin of the surname could be (my grandfather always said that), that people who worked for a "Graf" (a count) would be called "the Graf's people", which over time turned into the surname "Graf".
by Martin Tlustos G2G Crew (470 points)
I never thought about that before but it makes good sense.  Just as former slaves often took their master's surname.
+1 vote
Little reminder: In German it is also a usual surname, also for people who apparently don't have aristo-relatives.
by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Pilot (208k points)

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