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Glaum Family Genealogy 

Over the last 25 years I have searched repeatedly for information about my Great Grandfather William Conrad Glaum (1850-1929).  Each time I tried to track down his origins, I hit a brick wall.  Happily, the Internet is an invaluable resource for family history research.  Since posting the tree, we have been contacted by many people through whom we have found and pursued many leads. 


This search has become somewhat of an addiction with me and has since grown to include all the Glaum (and Klaum) families I have found in the United States, Canada, England, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand as well.  Tracking these other lines was invaluable in discovering the origins of the name and pinpointing the area in Germany most likely to be the homeland or “Heimat” of the far-flung Glaum family.  This website is dedicated to preserving and sharing the information I have found on the Glaum family worldwide.


Through my various searches I have discovered that the last name of Glaum originates in the area of Germany called Hüttenberg in Hessen, an area just north of the city of Frankfurt am Main.  My own family comes from the very small village of Ebersgöns which is currently part of the administrative district of the neighboring city of Butzbach.     


In Hessen, as well as in Germany in general, the name is pronounced with both vowels being phonated – like the ou sound in the American pronunciation of “out” or “ouch”.  During my first visit to Ebersgöns, I was surprised at how hard the people make the G when they pronounce the Glaum name.  The G is closer to the way we pronounce a K in English.  So, please, no Glum or Glaaaaaam and, of course, no Glom.


The University Professor Dr. Heinz-Lothar Worm of Giessen, Germany has written extensively about the family names of the Hüttenberg area. Through his research Dr. Worm has established - “The eldest written form is "Glume Hen" (1482). "Glume" is the genitive-form of Glum and means Glum's Hen (Henry or John). Around 1500 Glum changed to Glaum, as all u's were turned to au's in our language.”   As to the origins of the name, Dr. Worm believes – “Just let me tell you, that the name Glaum is a Hessian form of the name of an old Irish monk, a missionary called St. Columban. Our German ancestors put the stress on the first syllable and dropped the last one. So they pronounced Colum, which was contracted to Clum or Glum.”  


Through my correspondence with Dr. Worm and Oswald Schieferstein (another genealogist in Hessen) we have  established that Glaums and Klaums are all members of the same family.  Spelling appears to have been entirely up to the contemporary scribe of the local churchbook.  The name often changed from Glaum to Klaum (Claum) and back again within the same church register.  For instance, a side of the family started out in Pohl-göns spelling the name Klaum.  One branch of this family traveled to Langgöns and there the name was spelled Glaum.  Members of that same family emigrated to England and retained the Glaum spelling.  Another branch of that same original family in Pohl-göns emigrated to the US, but kept the Klaum spelling.  All very complicated and very interesting, hopefully you get the idea!  I would like to believe the pronunciation has remained constant despite the various attempts to record that pronunciation. 


The Ebersgöns church records only go back to 1792.  All records prior to that were carried off by a band of marauding Swedes during one of Europe’s many early wars.  While I am still trying to get my mind around the concept of marauding Swedes in the middle of Germany, I do have a copy of another German family member’s work where he tracks the Glaum name back to 1432.  I don’t have any of that documentation so I mention it only in passing but would love to look deeper into Glaum family history in Germany some day.


Information on this website is fluid and will be updated as new information is available.  I have tried to document all information that appears.  I am happy to share copies of the documentation or to supply the rationale behind the postings.  For further information, corrections, or if you have additional information to add please contact us at info@glaum-family.com.