Goetzman Story

Goetzman is a uncommon last name found in United States. The name has many Variants such as Goetzman(n), Gotzman(n), Getzman(n), Götzman(n) Tales state the last name Gussmann was the first variant of this last name and was a very powerful clan of Austria however many Goetzmans in the U.S. can trace their ancestry to Götzmann family who left Alsace Lorraine to come to the U.S. in 1814. In 1814 Alsace Lorraine was part of France and in the midst of conflict, being on the border of Germany, caused by the return of Napoleon Bonaparte from his first exile. In response to the restoration of Napoleon, in 1814 and 1815, Alsace was occupied by foreign forces, including over 280,000 soldiers and 90,000 horses in Bas-Rhin alone. This had grave effects on trade and the economy of the region since former overland trade routes were switched to newly-opened Mediterranean and Atlantic seaports.


Potential name meaning Origins:

Although Goetzman doesn’t have known jewish roots, the following information is interesting:

HEBREW ACRONYMS: Getz — gabbai tsedek (righteous synagogue official) man *Source

tzedek is the Hebrew word for “Justice”



Theory on how the name Götzmann Originated

Submitted by Richard K. Goetzman, Ph.D

“This is an explanation I got from a German Army officer I met at Fort Gordon, Georgia, forty years ago and have found no reason to doubt it. Getz and Goetz are both pet forms of the German name Godizo, which derives from the Germanic element for God as a name of praise.”

“In Germany many years ago when the tribal culture was flourishing, many tribes had special gods and idols that they revered. One man was chosen to be the protector of the idols known as Götz (English/American equivalent is Goetz). Thus a Götz-mann was a man who was protector of the idols–sort of a high priest, or shaman.”


By the way, if you want to type an “o” with the umlaut (two dots) above it just use ALT 0246 and you’ll get “ö” which is pronounced something like “urh” thus roughly equivalent to “Gurhtzmann.” The “ö” is not used in English so, when the German immigrants came to America, the immigration official used “oe” in its place, used “s” for “z” very often and “mann” became just “man.” Thus Götzmann became Goetzman.