Surname Origin & History

The origin of this name is somewhat uncertain; it almost certainly comes from the Old High German word "sleht," but this word has two different meanings. The first is "direct or natural," so the name may have originated as a nickname for someone who was straightforward in his manner. The other meaning is "flat," and there are several areas around Germany named for the word, so the name may have been given to a man from any of these places.

According to the ancestry source below, from the North German region, the Schlichting name is the nickname for someone who arbitrates or one who meddles in other people’s affairs, from Middle High German slihtinc (‘arbitrator’, ‘intervener’).

The court of Charlemagne (Charles the Great, king of the Franks (742-814) was Christian and Latin speaking). The vernacular was the Frankish dialect of Old High German, and the personal names in use were Germanic and vernacular. These names were adopted in many parts of northwest Europe, particularly among the noble ruling classes. Hereditary surnames were found in Germany in the second half of the 12th century - a little later than in England and France. It was about the 16th century that they became stabilized. A minor notable of the name was Jakub G. SCHILICHTER, born on the 10th August, 1912. He was a physician, and his appointments included Associate and Full attending physician at the Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, and the Assistant professor of Medicine at the North-western University of Chicago. He was the author of numerous scientific papers and monographs. Because of the close relationship between the English and German languages, some Germans are able to transform their names to the English form just by dropping a single letter. Many Germans have re-spelt their names in America. A great number of immigrants from Germany settled in Pennsylvania. After the start of the first World War, Germans in great numbers Anglicized their names in an effort to remove all doubt as to their patriotism. Afterwards some changed back, and then during World War II the problem became acute once more, and the changing started all over again, although not with as much intensity. German or Teutonic heraldry extended its sphere of influence over central Europe and spread into Scandinavia. It is most notable for its design and treatment of crests, most of which reflect the arms in the charge or tinctures (colours) or both, which is unknown in British heraldry. Teutonic Europe assembled many arms on a single shield, each bearing its corresponding crest on a helmet.[1]

First found in Austria, where the name Schlichting became noted for its many branches in the region, each house acquiring a status and influence which was envied by the princes of the region. In their later history, bearers of the name became a power unto themselves and were elevated to the ranks of nobility as they grew into this most influential family.

Some of the earlyt settlers of this family name or some of its variants were:


  1. Coat of Arms Store: Schlichting Coat of Arms
  1. House of Names: Schlichting Family Crest and Name History
  2. The Schlichting Surname
  3. GenForum: Schlichting Family Genealogy Forum