Graf Family History
Graf Name Meaning
German (also Gräf): status name from Middle High German grāve grābe which was used as a title denoting various more or less aristocratic dignitaries and officials. In later times it became established as a title of nobility equivalent to the Romance count. The vocabulary word also denoted a variety of different minor local functionaries in different parts of Germany. In the Grand Duchy of Hesse for example it was used for the holder of the comparatively humble office of village headman (compare Mayer Schulz and Vogt ). The surname could have originated from any of these senses or be a metonymic occupational or status name for a servant or retainer of a count or a nickname for someone who gave himself airs and graces. This surname is also found in many other European countries for example in France (Alsace and Lorraine) Hungary Poland Czechia Slovakia Croatia and Slovenia often as a translation into German of the corresponding Hungarian and Slavic surnames Gróf and Grof . Compare Graef . Jewish (Ashkenazic): artificial name selected like Herzog and other words denoting titles because of their aristocratic connotations.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022