Recorded as Hessentaler and Hessenthaler, this is a German locational surname. It originates from a place in the state of Wurttemburg called Hessental, which is believed to translate as 'The place of the Hesse people' with hesse meaning 'hooded'. This would suggest that either they were people who habitually wore hoods which may also have had some early religious connatation, or that it was a place in ancient times renowned for hood making. Locational surnames were usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people either because they lived at a particular place, or more usually as seems to be the case here, because the person concerned has moved to another area, and as a stranger was most easily by the name of his or sometimes her, original home. This early recording from the dictionary known as the 'Etymologisches der Deutschen Familiennamen' is that of Georg Hessentaler, a farmer of Hopfach, Germany, in 1553.
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