The Glantz, or Clontz, Surname
This unusual patronymic surname appears to be of Mediterranean origins, but in fact is medieval German.
It derives from the word “glend” or “glan(d)t,” which describes an area of cleared land when used in the topographical sense, as in the village name Glandorf, but when applied as a personal or surname, the origin is less certain.
The accepted translation is “bright” or possibly “open” in a descriptive or academic sense, and in its original form would have been a nickname for an academic, or perhaps given the robust humor of the period, one who was a colourful character or dresser.
The modern spelling forms are very varied, although the original base spellings are as shown herewith with the developing styles
- Wolf, son of Jorge and Anna Glentz, christened at Chemnitz, Sachsen, on August 19 1582, whilst Maria Kunigunde Glenz married Erasmus Eberle at Saulgau, Donaukrees, Wuertt, Germany, on April 20 1699.
- On July 13 1782, one Bernharduz Glenza married Joanna Herlerin at Basadinger, in the Canton of Thurgae, Switzerland.
- In America the name is recorded as Glinde, Glantz, Glanz and Glendzer, the latter being found in Pennsylvania as early as 1784.
- The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hans Glend, which was dated 1480, recorded as the Miller of Neckartenzlingen, Germany, during the reign of Emperor Frederick III of Hapsburg, 1440–1493.
Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.