J. Fertich contribution to the Origin of the Fertig / Fertic Surname
This page is a copy of a blog by J. Fertich at Gen Forum and is replicated here in the interest of preservation, in case the original blog is taken off the internet.
Check out: fertich.ocatch.com for the origin of the Fertig name,
'Der Familienname Fertig' (The Family Name Fertig) written by Josef Fertig from Bensheim, Hesse, Germany and
published in the Bergsträßer Heimatblätter on July 15, 1983. The main part of the article focuses on the origin of
the Fertig name. A Heidelberg University student by the name of Berngerus Verting was recorded in the
Matrikelbuch of the University in 1390. The same person was found later to have changed the spelling of his name to Fertig.
For a direct link, check out: www.fertich.ocatch.com/fertic.name1.htm
TRANSLATION of the Article Der Familiename Fertig The Family Name Fertig from the Bergstrasser Hematblatter the local newspaper of Bensheim Region (Approximately 40 miles South of Frankfurt. The editor was Diether Blum of Bensheim. The article was written by Joseph Fertig of Giessen (50 miles North of Frankfurt) on July 15, 1983.
The Family Name Fertig
The family name Fertig is seldom heard in the German language although there are still 30 to 40 families in the Bensheim area that have that name. Many families with that name have left the Bensheim area in the last 150 years and migrated to North America. In spite of this is this family name known because 200 years ago in Bensheim there were four brothers and a sister baptized with that name. They married into old German families like Gambel, Traupel, Ohl and Seubert who in the meantime have mostly died off. These five initial Fertigs succeeded in raising approximately 30 children through these marriages so it is not surprising that the name is still frequently heard.
When you ask about the name Fertig in another city in Germany it normally would bring a smile that you really Friday Freitag as the addressee or Ferty as it happened to me one time. This mix up has been confirmed in examples in several thirty-year old church books.
Researchers believe the name Fertig became a separate family name through the use of shouting the word Ready! (Fertig) for example in the town of Marktheidenfeld when the Ferry was ready to leave the man at the gangplank shouted Fertig! meaning ready to leave. Eventually the man somehow got the name Fertig as his family name. The facts relate that the names Ferdik and Ferdigg are frequently used and heard in Tyrol (A state south of Austria and Germany that has been fought over between Austria and Italy for centuries) and therefore the writer believes that the name came from Tyrol.
These Tyrolers came to the Bensheim Bergstrasse area (mountain street from Frankfurt to Heidelberg, that parallels the North South Autobahn) as migrant (seasonal) workers because of the bad climate and poor land in Tyrol. Many migrant workers came to the Bensheim area after the 30 years war (1816-1848) because of sickness, plagues and war destruction in the Bensheim region after this war. Because two thirds of the regions population were lost from the plague and the war, the Tyrolers came, married local women or migrated with their families to till the land left by the vacuum from the war and plague.
The above story about Fertigs coming from Tyrol could also be wrong because the Ferdiks and Ferdiggs came from Gader Valley in the Tyrolerean Dolomite mountains where these people called Ladiner still live today and speak a language more Italian than German. It is improbable that people with this Italian dialect would migrate to the Rhein Valley around Bensheim, because of the difficulty of learning the German language. Also a minister in the village of St. Vigl in Enneberg in the Gader Valley (in Tyrol) was doing a favor for me in sending me a long list of Ferdigg. He noted that because of this language situation that he felt it was unlikely that the Ferdiggs of the Gader Valley in Tyrol would have migrated to the German speaking Rhein Valley. The Soviet name Fertschnigg that is also known in Germany was not considered relevant to the research or the name Fertig.
Also with further research it became apparent that between the Main and Neckar Rivers with flow westward into the Rhein at Frankfurt and Mannheim respectively, there is an area called the Oden Forest Odenwald. Again it is highly likely that many of the farmers from the Oden Forest migrated westward or married into families in this area of the Rhein Valley because of the poor soil on the east side of this area in the Oden Forest. To the writers surprise, it also became apparent that Fertiggs came from Pommerania (The West Side of Poland on the Baltic Sea). Research indicated that people from that area migrated from that area to the Rhein Valley near Bensheim in 1750 as a result to political action by Frederick the Great. The researcher has a strong feeling from the research that the Fertigs of Bensheim came from the Baltic Sea areas to the Odenwald and Bensheim area of Germany.
Name develop through occupations and perhaps the name Fertig came from the German name Virdung or Virdune related to the tithing principle whereby a farmer would be obligated to give one quarter of the harvest to the landowner. In the old tax registration of the Count of Wertheim in Unterwittbach near Marktheidenfeld there is documented such a situation. During the Farmers War in 1525 there was an astrologer named Virdung from Hassfut on the Main. In this time there was salesmen, who had this name that attended the Frankfurt Fair. Members of the clan Virdung attended the French University in the 16th century but the name was not heard of in this realm again. Bearers of this name Virdung cannot be found today. This could be because the name Virdung has become the Fertig of today and as a result is not used anymore.
In the research of the early archives of the line of princes (the Early Cloister Archives), Richard Koreas in the book The History of the Cloisters of Amorbach in the 14th and 15th Centuries found that there was a Schoolmaster of the Cloister at that time by the name of Beringer Fertig. This person named Fertig is also in the Markitel Book School of Heidelberg under the name Berngerus Vertig from Hetegebuer that is known today as Hettiggenbeuren in a village part known as von Buchen. Heidelberg University was founded in 1386. The fact that he had a baccalaureate degree at that time means that he must have gotten his degree earlier at another university, probably the University of Paris. His early education was in the school at Amorbach, a school of which he later became the Schoolmaster. He must have gotten the degree involving writing else because at that time the skill of writing was not yet fully mastered at the time of the Amorbach School (1300s and 1400).
During the early times of the landowners and the tithing of the farmers, it became apparent that there was a law needed and crafted for the saving and registration of tithing in the area around Cloister Amorbach. This law is still in place today. A legal disagreement developed between the Cloister and the Hornbacher farmers. Through a book written on July 8, 1422, related to this event which was witnessed by four people including the Schoolmaster of Amorbach, it has been clearly ascertained that Berringer Fertig was the Schoolmaster of the Cloister Amorbach and who was at the University of Heidelberg in 1390 using the Latin name Berngerus Verting which translates to Berringer Fertig in German. Thus we know beyond doubt that Berringer Fertig, the Schoolmaster, was the first person to have legally documented the name of Fertig. Berringer Fertig was noted in this book as being the Notar or lawyer whose signature made this document official.
It is very interesting to note that the scholar at that time took an oath to study ethics, search for truth, honesty and anti-corruption the rest of their lives. In this book it is also noted that there was a Count Fertig who had property or an estate in Hornbach. In the neighboring town of Hettigenbeuren, there is mention of a Ferting and a Verting. Perhaps the father of Berringer Fertig was not the chief leader of the Cloister but perhaps he was second in the leadership chain under the men of Adelsheim, which would have made him the banker of the Cloister. Today still in Hettigenbeuren stands a tower and castle that goes back to that time and in which Berringer Fertig could have lived.
At the time of the four other witnesses to the book (Register), Hanss, Henner, Cuntz (Fertig), Fricz and Hinz, the other four being farmers, Berringer Fertig had also taken the Latin name, Berngerus Verting also with the name Count from Adelheim from the Count from Adelheim lineage. Perhaps one of the Counts was Berringers baptismal father and afforded him the opportunity to study at the Uni of Heidelberg. It is also possible he was using his fathers name as it was the custom at the time for the son to impersonate or use his fathers blue blood lineage name.
What history became of the Schoolmaster, whether he married, or had children is unknown. Whether he wrote his name as Fertig or later witnessed documents under the name of Verting in 1407 is unknown. The letters V and F are often interchanged in German as are the endings ig and ing. This we find orally in many names in German today. As a noteworthy discovery, we found in the founding papers of the Village of Amorbach (1253) the names of three blue blooded Vertings. Villici Verting, Albertus and Ebero. Villici was the bureaucrat that ran the city of Amorbach at that time. These three Vertings could have been the origin of the name Fertig.
In the annals of the dead in Fulda Castle around the year 800, you can find names of dead monks many times with the name Fertinc, Verting and Vertie. These names are certainly not family names but names of monks that have taken the same baptized names. A Verting means a Fahrender or to lead back. Certainly not a name of a person who would pray and contemplate the search of truth or religion in a cloister. They could have been a missionary who traveled. For meaning, Professor Finsterwalder from Innsbruck says that Fertig (Appellative) meant Fahrender or to lead back or to drive back.
From all these written names there are various ways of writing the name Fertig. In the Oden Forest around Amorbach you can also find the name Fortig the o with an umlaut. In 1772, the Benzheimer Fertigs sometimes used the name Fortig with an oumlaut that sounds every similar to Fertig. In a Bensheimer church book, the name Gabriel Fortig appears. In the registry of the men of Breuberg (1605) in the Brunn Valley, there is reference to a Hieronimus Vertich and in Vielbrunn a reference to a Wendel Vertich noted. After the Thirty Years War (1816-1848) the name is not found anymore. In 1637 in Vielbrunn, only three of fifty people survived or remained living. The hamlet of Brunn Valley was peopleless. In the village of Steinmark in East Spessart there was in 1595 a Clas Vertig. In 1764 there is mention of a Joseph Fertich that migrated from the Pfalz Forest area 100 miles west of Bensheim to the Volga River area of Russia. A Jewish man named Sippe Fertig, who came from Galilee and a fellow accompanying Jewish person from Berlin and others from Israel are certainly not related to the Oden Forest Fertig line. On what basis the Austrian officials began recording the names of Jews with the family name Fertig in the 1800s cannot be ascertained. The family name Fertig was definitely founded in the Oden Forest area previously described . The name comes from the Schoolmaster of the Amorbach Cloister and came from the name Verting which means to lead back. This is a case that we can determine almost to the day that this name Fertig was founded, first used and hence evolved.
How the Bensheimer Fertigs line evolved in the Oden Forest area, from that time forward, should and will be the subject of another research project. The researcher seeks a few helpers to organize the lineage of the Bensheimer Fertigs going forward.
Bibliography: In the order shown in the paper. All titles are in German.
Forstemann, Old German Name Book
Friese, Alfred The Old Tax Records of the Count of Wertheim, a Year Book of the Historical Societies Old Wertheim 1954
Krebs, Richard, The Registry of Churches and their People from Amorbach, Germany, Third Ed (1903) and Sixth Ed, (1905).
Krebs, Richard, the Cloister Amorbach in the 14th and 15th Centuries
Archives of Hessian History and Old Graves History
Monuments of Germany History I cII 149
Seltz, Peter Talks about the Family Names Fertig of the Bergstrasse (Mountain Road Near Bensheim from the local newspaper March 1952.)
Written words from Professor Karl Finsterwalter of Innsbruck
A special thanks to:
Mr. Stadt, Archivist Josef Straub of Amorbach for making available copies of the Founding of Amorbach and Mr. Dr. Oswald, the official Archivist of Amorbach for his help and humor.
....end of blog as shown at this website.