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Latest Activity: Aug 4, 2015

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Discussion Forum

Mexico Orendorff of Breckinridge Co., KY 1812-1854 38 Replies

Started by Sherry Hightower. Last reply by Andrea Orenduff-Peel Aug 4, 2015.

An ancestor{s) beheaded and burned for witchcraft / sorcery/ magic 1 Reply

Started by J Orendorff. Last reply by J Orendorff Jun 20, 2011.

Orendorff Genealogy book/pamphlet Milo Custer Bloomington, IL 1919 publication 10 Replies

Started by J Orendorff. Last reply by Andrea Orenduff-Peel Jun 17, 2011. - too expensive? 4 Replies

Started by J Orendorff. Last reply by J Orendorff Jun 7, 2011.

Orndorff Hotel, Tucson, AZ 3 Replies

Started by Sherry Hightower. Last reply by J Orendorff Jun 6, 2011.

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Comment by Andrea Orenduff-Peel on February 4, 2015 at 9:47am

I have created a cemetery for the Orenduffs  buried in Kentucky. Working with the Kentucky Historical society, I hope to have pictures up soon.;

If it doesn't come up - there are two Orenduff cemeteries on Find-a-grave. Since I could not get responses from contributors for the one south of Melissa Texas, I posted my results from research on

Comment by J Orendorff on May 22, 2011 at 4:24pm
An interesting find...
The city and the castle By Annie Lucas

A work of fiction that has several "Von Ohrendorf''s" as characters. I do not
know if she has any family connection, but it I would imagine it unlikely that she just happened upon the name.

It can be read online at Google books:
Comment by J Orendorff on May 22, 2011 at 3:45pm
Some FYI info on Hof Ohrndorf and coat of arms issues. I recieved the following info from the Westphalian Heraldry Society:

The "Manor" Ohrndorff was a so called Koenigs-Gut (King's Estate). Such Gueter (manors) were free from taxes etc.! In early times Germany had no capital and the King/Emperor and his court always was on journey through his realms. To maintain and support the court shattered over Germany were so callled Koenigs-Gueter. There the court could have a break or a longer rest.
Administrators of the Gueter were Lord-Stewarts often called "Graf" as Gograf (modern German "Gaugraf")!
In the 16th century Koenigs-Gut became less important and were sold to the administrators or to other noble families. By the way if there would be a family arms it must show the Imperial Eagle. Imperial places always were displaying a kind of an eagle.

Beware of the arms-mongers. Companies selling those arms are fraudsters. The alleged Ahrendorf arms belongs to a family "von Wahrendorf" , the Orndorff arms belongs to a family named "von Dorndorf"!
Both families are orginated from the Baltics (Livonia).

This info corresponds to the reference, noted by others, in "Some ancestors of George Miess/Juliana Baldt and Philip Miess/Louisa Ohrendorf" - Clifford R Canfield (Author) that Simon was a courtier (?) of Orndorf. Per Wiki:

"A courtier is a person who is often in attendance at the court of a king or other royal personage. [1] Historically the court was the centre of government as well as the residence of the monarch, and social and political life were often completely mixed together. Monarchs very often expected the more important nobles to spend much of the year in attendance on them at court. Courtiers were not all noble, as they included clergy, soldiers, clerks, secretaries, and agents and middlemen of all sorts with regular business at court. Promotion to important positions could be very rapid at court, and for the ambitious there was no better place to be. As social divisions became more rigid, a divide, barely present in Antiquity or the Middle Ages, opened between menial servants and other classes at court, although Alexandre Bontemps, the head valet de chambre of Louis XIV was a late example of a "menial" who managed to establish his family in the nobility. The key commodities for a courtier were access and information, and a large court operated at many levels - many successful careers at court involved no direct contact with the monarch himself."

My speculation-guess is that the resident family and or other workers at "Hof Ohrndorf" (Ohrendorff etc) were "stewards/stuarts" charged with farming and operating the property for the Holy Roman Emperor etc. who used the Koenigs Gut...Royal Estate.
As the herald noted, any Wappen / arms associated with the locale would have employed the double headed eagle. Eventually, the property was sold, gifted etc. to the people from the Hof "Ohrndorf/Ohrendorff even "Ahrendorf" etc. various spellings...and they adopted the surname(s).

As far as the name modern German it literally means "ear village" but my guess is that is not the original in human ear. Since this area spoke low German it could be that the following options make more sense:

For example, if Ohren = Ahren one dictionary states:
ohreⁿ [órə Ri. u. s.] tr. v. Ähren lesen, auflesen
In this case, it refers to grain ears...corn, wheat etc.

Another name meaning suggests:
Gender: Male
Origin: German
Meaning: Eagle

Oren, Orin IrishGael/Heb fairy, pale-skinned/pine tree

So many possible meanings beyond "ear village" which never made sense (but oftentimes last names have silly meanings). If it really was meant to be "ear village"...why? The shape of the land? Grain connection? Music related?
I have never found any Jewish roots...but:
Oren -Hebrew meaning laurel
Ohr ("Light" Hebrew: אור; plural: Ohros/Ohrot "Lights" Hebrew: אורות) is a central Kabbalistic term in the Jewish mystical tradition
So, we have:
Ear Village
Grain (ear) village
Eagles nest village
Laurel tree village
Light village
Pale skinned village
Pine tree village

IF it was a Koenigs Gut...the symbol of the Holy Roman Empire was the double headed Eagle. My guess is that the name refers to either its status as a Koenigs Gut or there was an eagles nest....or grain growing farm.
Finding out for sure would be nice.

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