Recorded as Von Oertzen, Oertzen, Ortzen, and Orts, this is a German surname. It is apparently locational from a place called Oertzen, although we have not positively identified such a place. In the early recordings and in the three first spellings as shown it seems to be closely associated with a place called Jerusalem in the city of Berlin, or Berlin Stadt as it seems to be referred to in early registers. The surname is considered to be similar in meaning to the Viking word 'torp' and as such it may describe an out lying farm or settlement, or is similar to the meaning of the surname Ortmann which described a person who lived at the end of an existing village. Most early surnames have quite simple explanations, since people lead simple lives. A coat of arms was granted to the Oertzens of Silesia and Saxony being a red shield charged with a gold ring in chief, grasped by two arms in armour in pale proper. The early examples of recordings taken from surviving church registers include those of Abel von Oertzen of Clavisdoff, Brandenburg, on June 1st 1603, Agnetus Orts at Tondorf in Rheinland, on November 9th 1701, Ann Margar Ortzen, who married Martin Tuebbicke at Jerusalem, Berlin Stadt, on May 1st 1738, and Ernest August von Oertzen also at Jerusalem, Berlin Stadt, on February 27th 1811.
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