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Updated June 9, 2019

Family name origins & meanings

  • Dutch : from achter ‘behind’, ‘to the rear of’, a topographic name for someone living at the back of a main settlement.
  • Dutch : perhaps a shortened form of Achterberg.
  • German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) : of uncertain origin. Various explanations have been proposed; it may be an agent noun from the verb achten ‘to reckon or estimate’, hence an occupational name for an appraiser or record keeper, or alternatively an altered form of Auchter ‘watcher’ (i.e. someone who watched over a flock or herd).

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