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1 - Nithart/Neidhart in german speaking territories

In the 8th and 9th century, Nithart mentions are found in Franconia (Franken) and in the Lake of Constance region. Nithart as surname, appears for the first time around 1200. Where is the actual origin of this family name? It might hardly ever be clarified. It seems however that today's Austria as well as South-Germany (Swabia) could be the cradles of this surname. In addition, around 1240 (see page "Family History > Nithart & C°") this surname already exists in Upper-Alsace (Oberelsass).

Is the name of the minnesinger (lyric poet) "Neidhart von Reuental (approx. 1180 - 1245) a first name or a surname? It remains disputed. In Klosterneuburg (Upper-Austria) the surname is mentioned for the first time around 1250. These are possibly descendants of the minnesinger. Political reasons in Austria forced some  Neidhart-families to move away. Such emigrants were probably the Neidhardt families in Ulm, mentioned in 1314. These Neidhardt's brought it to high reputation and occupied important positions in the 16th century. The Neidhardt chapel in the Ulm cathedral  shows the importance of this family. From the 16th century numerous Neidhart surnames are found in Augsburg, Nuernberg, Schleiz, Wertheim as well as in the Lake of Constance region.

By emigrations, starting from the 18th century, the name is also found outside of Europe. The kinds of writing vary the same as ever (see in addition also the page "Spelling variants").  

Well known Neidhart name bearers were among others: The Holy Nithard (monk and martyr), Neidhart von Reuental (knight and minnesinger), Mathis Gothard Nithart called Grünewald (painter), Johann Eberhard Neidhart (cardinal and inquisitor) and August Willhelm Anton Neidhardt count of Gneisenau (general field marshal).


2 - Earliest mentions of names in south Germany, and Switzerland

The mentions in public documents refer often to estates and donations in the respective localities. The place of residence is mostly not mentioned. 

Of interest is the fact that after 900 the Nithart mentions are hardly found in this region. From the 13th/14th century Nithart name keepers are documented

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