What is the origin of the last name Coffman?

The last name "Coffman" is derived from the Germanic personal name "Gottmann," meaning "man of God." This surname likely originated as a given name in medieval times and later evolved as a hereditary surname borne by individuals with a connection to descendants of "Gottmann" or those associated with religious contexts. Over time, as families migrated and developed regional variations, the spelling of the name may have changed, eventually settling on "Coffman" as a variant commonly found in English-speaking countries.

Countries of origin for the last name Coffman

The last name Coffman is a widely found surname in the United States. It is of German origin and is an anglicized version of the name Kaufmann. The name Coffman is predominantly found in the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, with the highest concentration of individuals bearing this name residing in Ohio.

The meaning of the surname Coffman can be traced back to its German roots. The name Kaufmann, which Coffman is derived from, translates to “merchant” or “trader” in English. This suggests that the ancestors of those who bear the Coffman surname were involved in mercantile activities or held occupations related to commerce.

It is worth noting that the spelling of surnames, especially during the immigration process, often underwent alterations. The adoption of the Coffman spelling in place of Kaufmann may have been influenced by factors such as pronunciation, handwriting variations, or a desire to assimilate into the English-speaking culture of the United States.

The prevalence of the Coffman surname in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana can be attributed to historical migration patterns. German immigrants, who were known for their industriousness and entrepreneurial spirit, settled in these areas during the 18th and 19th centuries. Many sought economic opportunities in agriculture, manufacturing, and trade, and their descendants continue to bear the Coffman surname today.

Genealogical records indicate that individuals with the surname Coffman have made notable contributions to various fields. For instance, the Coffman Memorial Union at the University of Minnesota was named after William Watts Folwell Coffman, who served as the university’s president from 1884 to 1888. Another prominent individual with the Coffman surname is Ray Holt Coffman, a renowned entomologist who specialized in studying bees and wasps.

The Coffman surname carries a sense of history and identity for those who bear it. It has been passed down through generations, reflecting the heritage and legacy of German immigrants who settled in the United States. While the origins and meaning of the Coffman surname can be traced back to its German roots, the specific stories and experiences of individual families bearing this name remain a treasure trove of untapped possibilities, awaiting further exploration and understanding.

Interesting facts about the last name Coffman

  • The surname Coffman is of German origin.
  • It is a variation of the name Kaufmann, meaning “merchant” or “trader” in German.
  • The Coffman surname is believed to have originated in the region of Germany known as the Rhineland-Palatinate.
  • Several spellings of the surname exist, including Kauffman, Kauffmann, and Kofman.
  • Over time, many Coffman families migrated from Germany to the United States, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • The Coffman surname is relatively rare, with only a small population of individuals bearing this name worldwide.
  • There are various branches of the Coffman family spread across the United States, with concentrations in states such as Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio.
  • Some notable individuals with the surname Coffman have made significant contributions in various fields, including politics, sports, and the arts.
  • The etymology of the surname Coffman suggests a historical association with commerce and trade.
  • In modern times, Coffman is not a commonly used name in Germany, and its usage is more widespread in English-speaking countries.

Name Rank


There are around 24980 people with the last name Coffman in the US

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