Surname Saturday: LAST

No, not a last name, the name LAST. You should see how difficult it is to do any sort of search on this surname. Typing in “last surname” or just “last” into search engines usually gets me a lot more than I need. Sometimes it gives me “Did you mean ‘last name’?” It’s even tough on genealogy sites like Ancestry, since some records put in “Last” if the person’s surname was unknown.

The LAST surname first shows up in my tree from my great-grandmother on my maternal side, Madora Martha Louisa LAST, who married Arthur THIELKE. Madora was one of 16 children! She was the tenth child for Charles Carl LAST and Augusta Johanna LUEDTKE, born in Grafton, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin. Charles was born in Doeringshagen, Pommerania, which is located in present day Poland. His parents were Johann W G LAST (a Civil War veteran) and Charlotte STRASSMAN. Charles has immigrated to Wisconsin with his parents in 1857 and shows up in the 1860 Census in Wisconsin.

According Ancestry’s surname information page, LAST was most common in Wisconsin in 1880. Also, they note it to mean a metonymic occupational name for a porter, from Middle High German last; German Last or Yiddish last ‘burden’, ‘load’. A porter is more than likely someone who was in charge of a door or a gate (similar to a doorman.)

There are many LASTs in this area, most of which probably descend from Augusta & Charles and their 16 children. Augusta not only had 16 children, but she lived to be 100-years-old. Now comes the part when I need to research back in Poland.

About Brian Zalewski

I started genealogy research about mid-1999. My grandfather had passed away in April of that year. Since then I’ve done a lot of research not only for myself, but for friends and other relatives. In 2006, I married the love of my life, Darcy, and welcomed the birth of our daughter, Aerissa Jean, in 2010 and our son, Xander Lee, in 2012. I can’t wait to tell them stories about all of their ancestors.

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Comments

  1. I can only imagine doing a surname on LAST. I had to do search for a Peter Griffin and didn’t know that he was on Family Guy. Not helpful, unless this tv show was in 1820.
    Nice hearing of other’s struggle. Glad you are conquering!