Select Ullman Surname Genealogy

The surname Ullmann in Germany derives from a pet form of the personal name Ulrich (comprised of the elements odal meaning "prosperity" or "fortune" and ric meaning "power").  The name was borne by a 10th century saint, the bishop of Augsburg, whose fame contributed much to the popularity of the name in medieval times.   Ullmann can also be Jewish and here it would probably describe someone from the city of Ulm in Baden-Wurttemberg.  And there were also Ulmans and Ulmens who came from Ulmen in the Rhineland.

Ullman is the main spelling in English.  In addition to Ullmann, the spellings of Ulman, Ulmann and Uhlmann are also found.   

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First found in Austria, the Ullmann name is most prevalent today in Saxony in southern Germany.  The numbers are: 
  • an estimated 15,000 Ullmanns in Germany  
  • a further 3-4,000 in Austria and Hungary  
  • and a smattering in Sweden and Norway.  
Some Ullmanns were Jewish.  An Ullmann family from Furth near Nuremburg in Germany became prominent as rabbis and business leaders in 19th century Hungary. 

The name was brought to English-speaking lands through emigration.

.  An early Ullman family in England began with the Rev. J.F. Ullman, a German Presbyterian missionary in India.  His son William, born there in 1852, had gone out to Australia as a minister in 1880 but, due to financial difficulties, left for London two years later.

Two Ullmans came to England at the time of World War Two under somewhat different circumstances:

  • Walter Ullmann was a Jewish scholar from Austria who fled his homeland as the Nazis advanced.  He settled in England and became a recognized authority on medieval political thought.
  • Antony Ullman was a Polish soldier evacuated from Dunkirk in 1940.  His daughter is the singer and TV actress and comedienne Tracey Ullman.
America.  The Ullman named first appeared in Pennsylvania censuses in 1732.  Philip Ullman came to Phoenixville in Chester county in the early 1800's.  Mayer Ullman was recorded as a grocery store owner and tavern keeper in Philadelphia in the 1810's.

Samuel Ullman left Germany with his parents for America in 1850, settling first in Mississippi and later moving to Birmingham, Alabama.  He is best known today for his poem Youth which was a favorite of General MacArthur.  The poem was on the wall of his office in Tokyo when he became Supreme Allied Commander in Japan.  In addition, he often quoted from the poem in his speeches, leading to it becoming better known in Japan than in America.

Some of the other Ullmanns/Ullmans coming to America in the 1800's were:
  • Lazarus Ullmann and his wife Lydia who had immigrated to Pennsylvania from Baden in Germany in 1830.  Their son Charles Ullman was friends with the Fairbanks, a Southern plantation owning family, and his son adopted the Fairbanks name.  This son was the silent movie star, Douglas Fairbanks.
  • Harry Ulman who had come to Chicago in the 1850's and started a tobacco store with Max Newman in Peoria, Illinois in 1859.  The business of Newman & Ullman still flourishes in Illinois.
  • Bernhard Ulmann who first started selling napkins, doilies and handkerchiefs with silk-screen embroidery designs from a pushcart on the streets of New York in the 1860's.  He later sold from his own store, Bucilla, on Long Island City.  His daughter Doris became a well-known photographer in the 1930's.
  • Anton Ullmann who disembarked from the Hermann in 1883 in Maryland and purchased a tobacco farm in Charles county.
  • and Johann and Augusta Ullmann who came on the Gellert in 1884 and made their way to Hartford, Connecticut.  The next year they acquired Squire's tavern and farm in Barkhamsted which was to stay with the family until the 1920's.  Sadly John Ullmann was tossed to death by an enraged bull in 1924.
Albert Ulmann was born to a Jewish family in New York in 1861.  He became a banker in the city.  However, he is best remembered for his writings on New York and Jews in the city for magazines and journals in the 1890's and early 1900's.

Canada.  There were Ullmans in Pennsylvania who were Loyalist during the Revolutionary War and departed for Canada.  Ben Ullmann came to operate a number of farms near Niagara by Lake Ontario.  Philip and Margaret Ullman arrived in the Niagara area somewhat later from Germany.

Australia.  German immigration to Brisbane in the 1850's brought some Ullmanns with them.  They were spelt Uhlmann, however, and pronounced Yuleman.

Select Ullman Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Ullman Names

Douglas Ullman was the original name of the American film actor Douglas Fairbanks.
Liv Ullmann is a Norwegian actress who has performed extensively in America and lives in Florida.
Tracey Ullman is the British comedienne and stage actress who found success in America.

Select Ullmans Today
  • 1,000 in the UK (most numerous in Manchester)
  • 2,000 in America (most numerous in New York) 
  • 1,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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