Schultz Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Schultz Surname Meaning 

Schulz and Schultz are common German family names.  Derived from the word schulheize, the original meaning was as a collector of dues and taxes on behalf of the lord of the manor. An early example as a surname was Godescalus Sculte who was a burger in Hamburg in 1249.

By the 13th century the name was developing a more specific meaning as the head man or alderman of the village.  Every small town in Germany had its schulzmann or mayor.  The surname also extended into Scandinavia.  In Silesia the spelling could be Scholz or Scholtz.    village.

Schultz Surname Resources on The Internet

Schultz and Schulz Surname Ancestry

  • from Northern Germany and from Jewish emigrants
  • to America, Canada, South Africa and Australia

The Schulz and Shultz surnames in Germany are found principally in northern Germany, with concentrations around large cities such as Berlin, Hamburg and Hanover. Many 19th century emigrants came from what was then Prussia.  The Schulz numbers in Germany today run around 210,000, Schultz around 35,000.

America.  By contrast, the spelling breakdown today in America is:

  • Schultz (49,000), most common in Minnesota
  • Schulz (12,000), most common in Texas
  • and Shultz (8,000), most common in Pennsylvania.  

Early Presence.  Some of these Schultzes were from the Rhineland Palatinate.  Schultzes from Friedelsheim came to Philadelphia in 1731, 1737 and, finally with Johannes and Christina Schultz on the Loyal Judith, in 1742.

They settled in Kreutz Creek in what became York county, Pennsylvania.  The Schultz House in Hellam township, still standing, was built around 1752. Their son John Schultz kept a tavern in York Town and later moved to Baltimore. Another line began with Peter Schultz, a blacksmith in Hanover township.

Two months after the death of his father in Silesia, George Schultz departed in 1734 with his brothers Melchior and Christopher and others of their Schwenkfelder faith for Philadelphia.  George’s son Melchior became a Schwenkfelder minister in Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. The farmhouse Melchior acquired in 1794 in Upper Hanover township remained for six generations with the Schultz family until 1969.

Gottfried and Maria Schultz from Silesia came on the Moravian ship Irene to New York in 1748 and settled in Bethlehem, Northampton county.  Their descendants made their home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  A Moravian Schultheiss family from Switzerland came to Bethania, North Carolina in 1769 where the family spelling became Schultz and later Shultz.  The Christian Thomas Shultz log house, built there around 1830, still stands.

Later Arrivals.   Schultzes arrived in larger numbers in the 19th century and they mainly headed for the Midwest. Among their number were:

  • William Schultz who came to America with his parents from Germany in 1829 and made his home in Owen county, Indiana where he farmed.  His son Fred was a mill-owner at Poland in Clay county.  
  • John and Mary Schultz from Prussia who came to Illinois in 1854 and ten years later were pioneer settlers in Poweshiek county, Iowa.  The old homestead, upon which John located on coming to Malcom township, was all unbroken prairie land at that time.  He and his son Jacob were the only white men who had any part in its cultivation and development.  
  • Carl Schultz who arrived in Wisconsin as a young man in the 1850’s and settled in Outagamie county.  His two sons Theodore and Edward were prominent farmers there.  
  • another Carl Schultz, in this case from Prussia, who came to Minnesota in the 1850’s and engaged in various practices, including a successful real estate and loan company, before starting up his own lumber company in Minneapolis in 1908.  
  • and Carl Schulz from Pomerania who arrived in New York in 1873 and headed straight out to Nebraska to farm.  He endured hard time there in the 1870’s and 1880’s before eventually prospering.  
  • and yet another Carl Schulz, the son of German immigrants, who worked on a string of Midwestern farms in his youth in order to save money to go to barber school.  When he settled in Minneapolis in the 1910’s, he purchased a barbershop with a partner.  His only son Charles M. Schulz, born in 1922, was the famous cartoonist.

A number of Schultzes, mainly from Prussia, came to Texas in the 1850’s during the wave of German immigration there at that time. Among them were:

  • Christoph Schultz and his family and Friedrich Schulze and his family who both came to Galveston in 1852
  • and Friedrich Schultz and his wife Maria who came to Hampden in 1854.

Peter Milton Schultz came to New York from Germany also in the 1850’s and anglicized his name to Shultz.  His grandson Birl Earl Shultz was a New York securities expert in the 1920’s, his great grandson George Shultz a senior Cabinet minister in the Nixon and Reagan administrations.

Jewish.   Many Schultzes in America have been Jewish.  They have ranged from Dutch Schultz, the New York mobster in the 1930’s, to Howard Schultz, the man who put the Starbucks coffee chain on the global map.

Canada.  John C. Schultz was born in 1840 at Amherstburg on the Detroit river in Ontario to a Norwegian father from Bergen and an Irish mother.   When he was six his father abandoned the family.  At the age of twenty he headed west to the Red River settlement where he became renowned for his prodigious strength (he was once seen singlehandedly moving an oxcart weighing 900 pounds).  He was for much of his life an inflammatory newspaperman. However, he later became a respectable Manitoba politician and was knighted in 1895.

South Africa.  There were German settlers that came to the Eastern Cape in the late 1850’s.  The Schultz family, said to have been of French Huguenot origin, came on the Wilhelmsburg to East London with the Falkenbergs in 1859.  Justine Schultz later married Michael Falkenberg.

Australia.  There were Lutheran Germans from Silesia, fleeing religious persecution, who embarked for South Australia in 1842 and made their home in the Barossa valley.  The Schulz family, originally butchers, started making wine there in 1865.  They still do, under Marcus Schulz of the present generation.

Johann Joachim Schultz and his family from Prussia emigrated to South Australia on the Heloise in 1847.  However, after torrential rains wiped out their home outside Adelaide six years later, they migrated to Tarrington, Victoria.

Howard Schultz’s Family Ancestry

Howard Schultz, the man who made Starbucks coffee the company it is today, was born into a poor Jewish family in Brooklyn and was the great grandson of a Jewish immigrant to New York in 1892.

Just click below if you want to read more about this story:

Schultz and Schulz Surname Miscellany

John Schultz of York County, Pennsylvania.  In 1758 his parents Johannes and Christina Schultz both passed away, leaving their house to John.  John received then a license to operate a tavern at the family home.  He later learned that his parents had been squatters.  As a result in 1761 he paid the legal landowners 200 pounds to purchase the 200 acres and the two-story house that his parents had built.

The Schultzburg plantation, as the property was known, proved attractive to the Continental Army and in 1781 the land was seized for use as a prisoner of war camp.  John himself was fighting in the Continental Army as a private.

After the war was over, the Shultzes relocated to York Town.  At first John Schultz kept a tavern there.  He later moved to Baltimore where he became President of the Baltimore Steamship Company.  He died there in 1820, leaving five daughters.. 

William Schultz An American Railroad Pioneer.  William Schultz had been one of the pioneer railroad men in the United States.  Associated in the 1830’s with the old firm of Isaac and Levi Morris in Philadelphia, rivals at that time to the Baldwin Locomotive Works, he was sent by them to Berlin with two locomotives that had been ordered by the Emperor who had a little railroad that ran the 16 miles between Berlin and Potsdam.

William remained in Europe after that mission in Russia.  When he had been there for a year he sent for his family to join him.  After weeks on a sailing vessel they reached St. Petersburg, their home for the next twelve years.  During that period the development of railroads in Russia gained steady momentum.  At one time the Government offered William Schultz general charge of the entire railroad system of the Russian Empire.  This, however, he declined and in 1852 he returned to America and Philadelphia.

The Schulzes remained in Philadelphia until 1888 when his son George moved the family to establish a new home in what was known as the Wayne estate, at that time a quiet rural part of Pennsylvania.

Johann Joachim Schulz in Australia.  Johann Joachim Schulz who had emigrated to Australia with his family from Germany in 1847 was a Lutheran, but more specifically a Pietist.

Pietism had many dimensions.  But personal prayer was central to their faith and personal morality was given great emphasis. The concern for personal feeling in religion often led to a downgrading of correct teaching.  Pietists could cross denominational boundaries more easily.  Reformed and Lutheran teachings could be put together.  Pietists tended to see the church as more true when engaged in small home groups with bible study and prayer rather than in Sunday worship.

The Pietist outlook of J.J. Schulz was evident from where he chose to worship in Victoria.  It was not at Tarrington where his family lived and where was a Lutheran church with a Honover-born pastor; but instead at South Hamilton in a group known to be influenced by Pietism.

Hymn books handed down in the family were not the old Lutheran Breslau hymnals, but Alexander’s Song Books and Sankey’s songs.  Most of the family prayer books were from the great Pietists of the period.

Some of the fine concern for personal prayer and support of missions remained in the Schulz family. The strong Pietist outlook J.J. Schulz brought with him probably set a pattern to follow for the following Schulzes of several generations in Australia.

Carl Schulz in Nebraska.  Among the leading old settlers of Pierce county, Nebraska was Carl Schulz, a native of the village of Beverdick in the province of Pomerania, Germany. Born there in 1844, he emigrated in 1873, arriving in New York after a sixteen day voyage from Liverpool.

After landing in New York he headed directly to Nebraska and settled on the land in section six, township twenty-five, range one in Pierce county.  But owing to hard times there, he sought work in Iowa for two years to keep his family in provisions.

In Nebraska he could not help escaping the privations and hardships of the early pioneer days.  In 1873 his crops were burned out by the hot winds and for three years the grasshoppers took everything, which caused him great suffering.  He endured high water levels in 1881 and went through the blizzard of 1888.

After all these trials he succeeded in developing a good farm with five hundred and twenty acres of land and was profitably engaged in mixed farming and stock-raising.

Charles M. Schulz and Peanuts.  Charles M. Schulz was an American cartoonist, best known for the comic strip Peanuts which featured the characters Snoopy and Charlie Brown among others. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential cartoonists of all time.

A fellow cartoonist Bill Watterson wrote in 2007:

Peanuts pretty much defines the modern comic strip, so even now it’s hard to see it with fresh eyes.  The clean, minimalist drawings, the sarcastic humor, the unflinching emotional honesty, the inner thoughts of a household pet, the serious treatment of children, the wild fantasies, the merchandising on an enormous scale – in countless ways, Schulz blazed the wide trail that most every cartoonist since has tried to follow.” 

Schultz Names

  • Dutch Schultz, born Arthur Flegenheimer, was a prominent New York mobster who was gunned down in 1935. 
  • Charles M. Schulz was an American cartoonist, best known for the comic strip Peanuts featuring characters such as Snoopy and Charlie Brown. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential cartoonists of all time. 
  • George P. Shultz was the American economist and Government minister who held a number of high positions in the Nixon and Reagan administrations. 
  • Howard Schultz was the main force behind the development of Starbucks coffee into the global brand that it is today.

Schultz Numbers Today

  • 69,000 in America (most numerous in Wisconsin)
  • 9,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)

Schultz and Like Surnames 

The first wave of German immigration into America came in the early 1700’s from the Rhine Palatine and Switzerland.  They were fleeing religious persecution at home.  Most ended up in Pennsylvania, bringing their Mennonite church with them.  Some went to the Mohawk Valley in upstate New York.  Their Germanic names often changed under English rule to English-style names.  Thus Fischer became Fisher, Schneider Snyder, Hubner Hoover and so forth.

The reasons for immigration were different in the 19th century – in search of a better life, sometimes to avoid the draft.  They came from all German states and went not just to Pennsylvania but all over as the middle and west of the country was opening up.  And they brought German skills with them, notably beer-making.

Here are some of the notable German surnames in America that you can check out.


Click here for return to front page

Written by Colin Shelley

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *