The associated coat of arms for this name are recorded in J.B Rietstaps Armorial General. Illustrated by V & H.V Rolland's. This Monumental work took 23 years to complete and 85,000 coats of Arms are included in this work. This surname was derived from the German word OBER, a topographic name for someone who lived at the upper end of a village. In some cases the name may have denoted someone who lived on an upper floor of a building with two or more storeys. The name has numerous variant spellings which include OBERTH, OBERST, OBERER, ZOBRIST, OBERMAN, OBERMANN, OVERMANN, AVERMANN and Van BOVEN. The name was also an occupational or status name taken by a rabbi. Surnames which were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have the same meaning in many languages. The court of Charlemagne (Charles the Great, king of the Franks (742-814) was Christian and Latin speaking). The vernacular was the Frankish dialect of Old High German, and the personal names in use were Germanic and vernacular. These names were adopted in many parts of northwest Europe, particularly among the noble ruling classes. Hereditary surnames were found in Germany in the second half of the 12th century - a little later than in England and France. It was about the 16th century that they became stabilized. Because of the close relationship between the English and German languages, some Germans are able to transform their names to the English form just by dropping a single letter. Many Germans have re-spelt their names in America. A great number of immigrants from Germany settled in Pennsylvania. After the start of the first World War, Germans in great numbers Anglicized their names in an effort to remove all doubt as to their patriotism. Afterwards some changed back, and then during World War II the problem became acute once more, and the changing started all over again, although not with as much intensity. A notable member of the name was Hermann Julius OBERTH (1894-1990) the Hungarian born German astrophysicist, born in Transylvania at Sibiu, called the father of German rocketry. Abandoning a medical career for mathematics and astronomy, he published his first book 'By Rocket to Interplanetary Space' in 1923. In 1928 he was elected president of the German Society for Space Travel.
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