The German surname Geier has different and somewhat inconsistent origins and meanings.  German family names were introduced during the late Middle Ages.  The German surname Geier can derive from three sources:

  • The surname is traceable to the Middle High German term “gir” which denoted a vulture.  Geier is a modern form of this medieval German term. 
  •  Alternatively, this name can be of local origin, deriving from the name of the region from which the original bearer hailed.  In this instance, the surname denoted a resident or native of Geiersberg or the Swiss town of Geyer.  A man named Gyr is listed therein in 1197.  
  • It could also be a Jewish occupational surname from Yiddish geyer ‘peddler’ or in some cases perhaps an unflattering name from German Geier ‘vulture,’ bestowed by non-Jewish government officials in central Europe at the time when surnames became compulsory.

The research on my Geier family has just begun.  I will be focusing on:

  • Johann Gotfried Wolf (born 1835) and wife Margareta Anna Henrietta Geier
  • Johann Henrich Geier (1867-1931) and wife Anna Lina Kutsher
  • Kurt Willy Geier (1908-1945) and wife Anna Marta Lipsdorf

Geier Coat of Arms


4 responses to “Geier

  1. Michael Harris

    April 26, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    I saw your post on the geier rootsweb board. I have Geyer/Guyer family in this county mainly from OH and PA
    going back to abt 1700, Interestingly the first Geyer I have Jacob Geyer b circa 1700 had a son Johann Heinrick b. Abt 1720, while I know this is not the one you have knowledge of it might be an ancestor. I can send you a descendancy chart if you like on what I have. It would be good to have some one to work with on the puzzle.

    • Marian Gilbert

      April 13, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      Hi Michael,
      I am the Grandson of Joseph Michael Geier. He lived in Pittsburgh Pa. His father was Michael Geier his mother Maria Hannes.
      My great great grandfather was Joseph Geier Sr.

      Birth 13 Jun 1819 in Seewiesen, Bruck An Der Mur, Steiermark, Austria
      Death 18 March 1886 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA
      If any of this is familiar please contact me.

  2. Karen Geier Hoskins

    March 28, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Hello, I am happy to find this site. I am looking for information on my grandfather, Carl Joseph Geier, born ~ 1894, Kansas. He first married Lalla Marie Butterfield, their only offspring, my father, Rodney Merle Geier. Dad passed away in 2006. Carl later married Mabel (Mae?) G. Geier, possibly Ina Mae Burnworth, or a Mae Murray. The records are fuzzy so we are not certain. We are wondering whether Carl had other children with his wives after he was divorced from Lalla.
    Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Karen Geier Hoskins

    • Judy Curbow

      March 31, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Hi Karen – thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to help you at all. My mother is the first member of her family to come to the United States. I haven’t done any research of any Geiers in the United States. All of my Geier relatives are still in Germany. I wish you good luck on your search! Judy


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