A ‘Hutstein’ or ‘Hutestein’ in former times had been a landmark for pasture areas. It is derived from the german words ‘hüten’ which means ‘to guard’. And ‘Stein’, in english ‘stone’ or ‘rock’.
‘Hut’ does have also the meaning ‘hat’, so any rock which seemed to have a ‘hat’ on could have become a ‘Hutstein’, translated as ‘hat-stone’.
In fact, when we do set up a heat map of our oldest surname occurence we can find places nearby called ‘Hutstein’. But note, we are not talking about small stones to show the pasture areas’ or region’s border, but natural monuments like large rocks or even hills which ‘guard’ the surrounding region.
So, people settling close to such a ‘Hutstein’ eventually had been called ‘Hutsteiner’. This can been seen very clearly for the Hutsteiner families in Bavaria/Austria as the small hamlet of ‘Hutstein’ is still existing close to a ‘Hutstein’ rock hidden in the forest nearby. In other locations more research is necessary to find former or existing ‘Hutstein’. Also it is necessary to mention that not at all known ‘Hutstein’ locations in Germany generated the surname ‘Hutsteiner’, i.e. there are much more ‘Hutstein’-rocks existing but obviously only 3 major locations where the surname poped up:
- in Saxony
- in Westphalia/Hesse
- in Bavaria/Austria
Furthermore, there are two well known major ‘Hutstein’- hills/rocks, but nearby I could not find any ‘Hutsteiner’ surname poping up in old documents:
- close to city of Glatz, now Klodzko (Poland)
- close to Haugschlag, Austria, at the czech border.
All occurences of our family name in US, UK, France, Netherlands, Australia… are descendants of the mentioned three major family lines.
Beside these, there are also two jewish lines of Hutsteins coming from Kolomea, Ukraine, and Suwalki, Poland, but I assume that transliteration issues are responsible for our surname there, i.e. a cyrilic name ‘Gutstein’ or ‘Ghutsztejn’, a quite common jewish name, became in western world ‘Hutstein’. A origin of these jewish families could not be found until now.
As mentioned above in english ‘Hutstein’ could be translated as ‘Hat-stone’, the pronouncation is like ‘Hood:stine’ resp. ‘Hood:stiner’.
Due to pronouncation some immigrants to the US obviously changed their names to ‘Hootstein’, ‘Hootstine’ and ‘Hutstine’ to adopt to english language.
But there is also existing the german surname ‘Hatstein’ resp. ‘Hatsteiner’ which would fit to the english pronounciation ‘Hut:stine’ resp. ‘Hut:stiner’, but is not related to our families at all.
Hutstein, Huthstein, Huthstain, Huthsteiner, Hutsteiner, Huttsteiner… and some more variations were treated in the past as identical. Therefore the same person once was called ‘Hutsteiner’ while in another document he/she appearred as ‘Hutstein’. This happend in all three major families.
Very often I observed mismatches especially with Hulstein, Holstein, Utstein, Gutstein, Hertstein, Hatstein and some others. And also nowadays it happens that people not used to this name are mixing it up with ‘HuFstein’. Don’t know why as surname ‘Hufstein’ does not exist at all acc. my research .. but it happened quite often to me in the past.