The village Weißenborn near Ottrau.

Posted on Facebook on 6 November 2015.

When travelling from west to east, the first village with the name Weißenborn that one encounters is Weißenborn near Ottrau. I have not found any Weis(s)enborn name bearers close to or in the village so far. I remember there was a monument for the fallen soldiers in the two World Wars, as I have found in nearly all villages. I haven't taken a picture back then, in 1992, and I am not certain there wasn't a Weis(s)enborn mentioned on the monument. But the occurrence of a single name on such a monument is not very meaningful.

It is more telling that, according to Wikipedia, in 1309 the village name was Wisenburn, and later on Wiesenbrunn. The latter is pronounced in English as "Weesenbrunn", quite different from Weissenbrunn. Spelling-wise it involves in German only the swapping of ie for ei, but no one would fail to hear the difference.

The word Wiese in German means meadow, a grassland for grazing cattle. A grassland with a spring would be worth naming. The meaning would be clear, and indeed the family Wiesenborn exists in Germany, as well as in the USA. I have only found one instance where the name Weisenborn was written down wrongly, as Wiesenborn. The difference is just too great.

As mentioned in the Wikipedia article, eventually the village name evolved in Weißenborn. I doubt that the name of any of the families Weis(s)enborn has been derived from the name of village Weißenborn near Ottrau.