Descendants of Hans Michael Hörlacher

When I started entering all the names from the Horlacher book, it wasn't long before I got worn out. So I went into male chauvinist mode and stopped following female descendants after they married, i.e., lost the Hörlacher / Herlocher / Hurlocker / Herlocker name. I'll be happy to add more data on request or when I feel like it.

Information from John Robert Herlocker and Matthew Herlocker is also in here, mostly adding to Red Book data. Thanks, guys. I've also gotten input from distant relatives and spots on the Internet.

The Red Book got me ancestors back as far as Hans Michael in Germany. Then, in 2002, I found a site that gave me the ancesters of Hans Michael (back to the early 16th Century), so I can now trace back to my 12th great grandparents on my father's side (I can go back 20 generations on my mother's side, through the Bullocks).

The use of Hörlacher (with an umlaut over the "o") versus Horlacher is pretty much arbitrary. I made the first generation all proper German spelling, then did whatever I felt like. So don't take what I have here as authoritative.


Origins of the Name Hörlacher

Where did the Horlacher family originate? Why and how did the name come into general usage? In practically all of Europe as well as in parts of Asia most names originate in one of four different ways: (1) place of residence; (2) occupation of the people; (3) variation of the name of the father; (4) description of the person. It was from the place of residence that the name Horlacher began to be used to identify people.

Late in July, 1953, we met at the Park hotel in Tehran, Iran, a German professor who had completed two years of teaching at the College of Agriculture of Afghanistan at Kabul and was returning to Germany. Immediately upon hearing the name Horlacher he said: "Your ancestors in America must have lived at a place in south Germany called Horlachen." In a letter which we received from William Horlacher of Logan, Utah, dated 5 July 1966, he wrote: "All the Horlachers originated from what is now a very small village about eight kilometers south of the city of Crailsheim, Württemberg, Germany, called Hörlachen. The name is now rather common in Germany." Herman Horlacher of Cincinnati, Ohio, wrote 20 October 1965: "The name Hörlacher is found very frequently in the south of Germany in Baden, Württemberg, and Bavaria. It is established that many of the Hörlachers are not related, even when they were born within 30 or 50 miles of each other." He told us that at one time the chief occupation at Hörlachen was the cutting of peat moss.

Apparently over a period of several hundred years it was customary to identify people who lived in the Hörlachen area by the name Horlachen. When they moved away they were referred to as people from Hörlachen. With the passage of time the final letter "n" became "r" and the name became Hörlacher. This is easy to understand when we consider the present day custom of referring to people as New Yorkers, Berliners, and so on. Today the name Horlacher is rather unusual in the United States, Pennsylvania being the state of greatest concentration.

Source: Family of Hans Michael and Maria Veronica Horlacher by Levi Jackson Horlacher and Vaneta Thomas Horlacher


The closest I can find to the Hungarian Harlacher is the German name Horlacher from the place Horlach in Bavaria or Horlachen in Wurttemberg, from Old High German hor = mud, marsh + lahha = lake. Germany constituted the strongest influence on early Hungary and Hungarian names are similar to German although the language is distinctly different.

Source: Surnames: What's in a Name?


The German surname Hurlock is believed by etymologists to be of three origins. In the first place, the surname Hurlock is of toponymic origin. Toponymic names are those surnames which derive their origin from a place name near where the original bearer lived or held land. In this instance, the surname Hurlock is derived from the place name Hurlach in Schwabmünchen. The surname Hurlock may also be derived from the place name Hörlachen in Württemberg, or Horlach in Bavaria, as well as from the place name Horblach.

In the second place, the surname Hurlock is of locative origin. Locative surnames are those names which derive their origin from a particular feature, either man-made or natural, near which the original bearer lived or held land. Here, the surname Hurlock is a variant of the surname Hörlacher, derived from the High German words "hör" meaning "mud and marsh," and "lahha" meaning "pool or pond," thus denoting "one who dwelled by or near marshland." Records of 1287 show "die Wiese (the meadow) Horwelarche" near Wielderstadt.

It is interesting to mention that the English surname Horlock is a nickname for "someone with just a patch of gray in his hair," derived from the Old English words "har," meaning "grey," and "locc," meaning "lock of hair." Thus, the surname Hurlock could be considered to be also of nickname origin. Nickname surnames are those names which derive their origin from a physical characteristic or personal attribute of the initial bearer.

Other variants of the surname Hurlock are Hurlocher, Hörlacher, and Hurlocker. References to this surname or to a variant include a record of one Konr. Hurnloher (and Hurloher), who was recorded as a citizen of Augsburg in 1283. One Lenz Hörlacher was a farmer from Löffelbach in Halle, as mentioned in records of 1553.

Source: the Historical Research Center

© Jack Herlocker 2015