Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesGenealogy · 8 years ago

Where do you think my last name came from?

My last name is Range. I am African-American and I have been looking into my family history. I was told by someone that my name comes from France and then I heard Germany. My grandfather is from Georgia around the cities Americus and Cordele. He moved to New Jersey when he was young so he was raised in New Jersey. But my grandfathers father was born and raised in Georgia.

So my question is.... Since Georgia is where my family started, Where do you think my last name might be from? Did it originate from Georgia or from another country? Also, are there any other people out there with the last name Range? And would ya'll happen to know a man by the name of Sylvester Range. That was my Grandfather's father name, he lived in Georgia and he had more children. I just cant seem to find out where or who they are.


I know for sure that Sylvester Range had two sons and one girl by my great grandmother. Their names are Ernest Range, Willie Range, and John Range. My great grandmother name was Myrtle Range because she married Sylvester Range, but they later separated and she moved to New Jersey without him.. I Hope that is enough info.

5 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Theresa, especially for you, with your Afr Amer background..the origin of the NAME is fairly useless and trivia. This is due to the reality that prior to 1870, no Blacks had any surname, except a few rare Free persons of Color. In other some point, your ancestor ADOPTED the name. If it came from (say) Germany, it does not have anything to do with the origin of your biological ancestry.

    Here is the link for Myrtle and children in 1940, where she identifies herself as a widow. It may have been more "nice" than being divorced/ separated. You can download this image to your computer. Son John was born 1931; she was born 1912. This does not give her maiden name. I don't see her in the social security death index...did she remarry or use another name? Her maiden name should be on her death cert, and I was trying to find those dates for you. If you can obtain birth certs for any of the children, it should also be on those.

    It looks as if his other children are after 1940 meaning they won't be on the census.

    Here is his ss death index..

    Sylvester Range

    United States Social Security Death Index

    birth 14 July 1911

    death June 1984 Adel, Cook, Georgia

    You should also be able with this to get his death cert from Georgia.

    Here he is in 1930..

    name: Sylvester Range

    event: Census

    event date: 1930

    event place: Militia District 961, Schley, Georgia

    gender: Male

    age: 18

    marital status: Single

    race: *****

    birthplace: Georgia

    estimated birth year: 1912

    immigration year:

    relationship to head of household: Son

    father's birthplace: Georgia

    mother's birthplace: Georgia

    enumeration district number: 0005

    family number: 338

    sheet number and letter: 17B

    line number: 58

    nara publication: T626, roll 383

    film number: 2340118

    digital folder number: 4531999

    image number: 00897

    Household Gender Age Birthplace

    head Tom Range M 63 Georgia

    wife Emma Range F 56 Georgia

    daughter Mary R Range F 24 Georgia

    son Tommie Range M 22 Georgia

    son Nathan Range M 21 Georgia

    daughter-in-law Ella Mae Range F 23 Georgia

    daughter Katie Range F 17 Georgia

    son Sylvester Range M 18 Georgia

    daughter Villa G Range F 9 Georgia

    daughter Beulah M Range F 7 Georgia

    granddaughter Susie M Range F 7 Georgia

    grandson Isaac Range M 11 Georgia

    Citing this Record

    "United States Census, 1930," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 Jan 2013), Sylvester Range in household of Tom Range, Militia District 961, Schley, Georgia; citing enumeration district (ED) 0005, sheet 17B, family 338, NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 383.

    Nathan is married and has children.

    You can see his dad and mother's ages to work out their birth years. They may have died before social security index.

    Its a start...


    this lady may be your relative, a daughter of Nathan Range. If you locate her children, they might have more information for you...

    theresa..this is where tom and emma are buried... he died 1950

  • 8 years ago

    Here are some hints:

    Ernest, Willie and John (the german name from the bible is Johannes) are typical german christian names, the name of the country they come from is Schley which is a northern german word for a small creek running to the ocean, the name Range is a german name (but not exclusive). Sylvester is a very old german christian name.

    It is likely that there was a german settlement in the country Schley with a german farmer and slave owner named Range which named descendants with german christian names and they later used the last name of the slave owner as their last name.

    German settlers in the US were usually roman catholic or lutheran protestant, the christian names hint more to a protestant. First settlers from Germany in the Philadelphia area were one of the first to speak out against slavery (after 1620) and especially germans coming after 1848 were huge supporters of abolitionists. a quarter of the troops on the union site were of german origins and the secretary of interior inder Lincoln was Carl Schurz, a native german.

    You can hope that the "owner" of your ancestors treated them more humane then other slaves were treated, it could explain that they took his last name as familiy name. As far as I know there was only a very limited number of "free man" or "freed man" in the south before the end of the civil war.

    So: what is the family history about your ancestors ?

    Source(s): German
  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Range Name Meaning

    German: nickname for a ragamuffin, from Middle High German range ‘naughty boy’, ‘urchin’.German: variant of Rang 3.

    French: from Old French renge ‘belt worn for battle’, with a wider sense in Middle French of ‘rein’, ‘strap’, hence a metonymic occupational name for a maker of such articles.

    Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4

    This guy? If not give more clues, such as family member names, date of birth and death etc.

    1940 United States Federal Census about Sylvester Range

    Name: Sylvester Range

    Age: 27

    Estimated Birth Year: abt 1913

    Gender: Female

    Race: ***** (Black)

    Birthplace: Georgia

    Marital Status: Married

    Relation to Head of House: Head

    Home in 1940: Adel, Cook, Georgia

    View Map

    Street: S Poplar Street

    House Number: 404

    Farm: No

    Inferred Residence in 1935: Adel, Cook, Georgia

    Residence in 1935: Same Place

    Sheet Number: 11A

    Number of Household in Order of Visitation: 210

    Occupation: Laborer

    House Owned or Rented: Rented

    Value of Home or Monthly Rental if Rented: 4

    Attended School or College: No

    Highest Grade Completed: Elementary school, 3rd grade

    Hours Worked Week Prior to Census: 42

    Class of Worker: Wage or salary worker in private work

    Weeks Worked in 1939: 52

    Income: 520

    Income Other Sources: No

    Neighbors: View others on page

    Household Members:

    Name Age

    Sylvester Range 27

    Lillie M Range 18


    1940 United States Federal Census about Ernest L Range

    Name: Ernest L Range

    Age: 7

    Estimated Birth Year: abt 1933

    Gender: Male

    Race: ***** (Black)

    Birthplace: Georgia

    Marital Status: Single

    Relation to Head of House: Son

    Home in 1940: Sumter, Georgia

    View Map

    Street: Street Off Andersonville Highway

    Inferred Residence in 1935: Sumter, Georgia

    Residence in 1935: Same Place

    Resident on farm in 1935: Yes

    Sheet Number: 2A

    Attended School or College: Yes

    Highest Grade Completed: Elementary school, 1st grade

    Neighbors: View others on page

    Household Members:

    Name Age

    Myrtle Range 28

    John T Range 9

    Ernest L Range 7

    Willie M Range 5

    Says that Myrtle is a widow - of course that might not be right.

  • 4 years ago

    In Europe it replaced into extra often than not Napoleon who delivered it into worry-unfastened use. The French Empire (subsequently Napoleon) maintained an extremely thorough administration usually to maintain clean and stable supply of adult men for their military/protection stress. so they needed a thank you to discover them and sign up them... So fairly some the international locations that have been conquered via Napoleon (very almost every person) accompanied their equipment. that's why fairly some each physique is named 'Janszoon' or 'Johansson' (translation: "John's Son" (or Johnson)). My surname is Salomons - that's a Jewish surname. i think of they used surnames fairly early on. i know King Solomon comes from that tale, with regards to the toddler and 2 mothers, so i assume they named themselves after that?

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    It probably came from the man who owned your slave ancestors. It might have come from someone they admired, or they may have taken it because they liked the sound. Slaves had to pick surnames in 1865. Many took the name of their former owners because they were already identified by that surname, informally.

    If you ask another question, study this one first. It has a lot of details, and the asker got two generations from it.;_ylt=AoWZ2...

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.