This surname of GLATFELTER was of the locational group of surnames meaning 'one who came from GLATT or GLATTON' (the smooth, flat place), the name of several places in Germany. The name is also spelt GLATZ, GLATTE, GLADFELTER and GLATFLET. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. A Mr Harris A. GLATFELTER was one of the most prominent and leading agriculturists of East Donegal township, Lancaster County, Pennysylvania. He was born in Codoras township, York County on the 17th November, 1833, a son of Samuel and Elizabeth GLATFELTER, who had come to Lancaster County in 1857. Samuel died in 1875 at the age of seventy-six, and his widow in 1878, both having been consistent members of the Lutheran Church. In 1860 Harris married Elizabeth Hollinger. He was a prominent Republican and was considered a representative and substantial citizen. (Biographical Annals of Lancaster County). American surnames comprise of surnames found in every country throughout the world, many with differences in spelling not seen in the old country due to the inability of clerks and Government officials to record correctly the names given them by unschooled immigrants not familiar with the English, French, German, Portugese, Dutch or Spanish languages currently used in the Port of entry or the part of the country where they settled. When an immigrant arriving in America with little knowledge of English gave his name verbally to the officials, it was written down by them as they heard it, and being thereby 'official' it was often accepted by the immigrant himself as the correct American rendering of his name.
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