Recorded in several spellings including Westhof, Westhoff, Westhofer, and cognates such as Westfal, Westhaus, Westheim, and Westheimer, this is a surname of Germanic origins. It is residential and translates either as the occupier of a house or probably a farm to the west (of the town or village), or it describes somebody who works at such a place, or it is locational from a place called Westhaus, Westhoff or similar, of which there are a number of examples in the German speaking countries. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original home to move somewhere else. In so doing they took or more often were given, as their surname, the name of their former home. Spelling over the centuries being at best indifferent, and local accents very strong, often lead to the development of variant forms. In this case early examples of the name recording include Peter Westofer of the city of Worms in the charters of that place in 1356, and Heinrich Westhaus of Munster, in 1576.
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