Welcome to the Muehleisen Page!

The name "Muehleisen" originates in Germany, although there are now many people with this name in the United States and other countries throughout the world.

You can read here about the history and meaning of the name. If you want to contact other Muehleisens, please go to the Yahoo group called The Muehleisen Family Name .

What does "Muehleisen" mean?

The name is made from two German words:

In other words, a "Muehleisen" is a "mill iron". But what's a mill iron?

For years, I wondered if it was actually an "iron mill", but then I received an e-mail from Eric Milliron. Eric, an American, found some real Muehleisens on a trip to Germany, and sent me a few photos of the mill irons he found there. You can see one below.

The mill iron is the metal piece set into the center of a mill stone.

Muehleisen links

Mary Muehleisen has made a web page dedicated to her brother Maury Muehleisen, mentioned by several of the people who've written in to this site in the past. You can see the site at www.maurymuehleisen.com.

Ancestry.com has messages and information about Muehleisens, so check it out.

The OLD Muehleisen Contact page has messages from people who have written me and asked me to add their names. I'm no longer updating this page and it is out-of-date.

To replace the contact page, I have started a Yahoo group called the Muehleisen Family Name group. Please go there to contact other Muehleisens.

Muehleisen domain name

My brother Ralph has bought the domain name @muehleisen.us, so if you'd like to have a @muehleisen.us address contact him at <ralph@muehleisen.us > He can set it up so that e-mail sent to <YOURNAME@muehleisen.us > is forwarded to whatever address you chose.He asked me if I minded that the domain ended in "us" since I didn't live in the "U.S.", but I answered that "us" is a good domain ending for "us Muehleisens"!

Why made this page, and why

This page was made by Vicky Muehleisen, an American living in Japan. Other than my immediate family members (such as my brother Ralph Muehleisen), I've never met anyone else with this last name, but because I have two web sites, I am often contacted by Muehleisens searching the web for inforation; they found my name and who wondered if I was related or if I could tell them more.

But although I am a Muehleisen and I am somewhat curious about the family name, I don't have much information on my family background and I haven't much time for geneological research. That's why I made this page!

I encourage everyone who is interested to look at the Yahoo Group and to post th post their own information there.

If you have feedback about this page, or have a photo or link you'd like to add, you can send me e-mail at <vicky@muehleisen.us>. However, I have to warn you in advance that I am NOT very good at answering e-mail sometimes. (I have to answer a lot of e-mail for my job, and so in my off time I sometimes actively avoid it.)

To see my personal home page, go to http://home.att.ne.jp/wind/marcy/vicky/.

Where does the name come from?

Eric Milliron wrote:

I have corresponded with geneologists in Germany in the early 1970's and they indicated that the Muehleisen family originated in Wuerttemberg, Germany.The name means the iron core (axle) of a mill stone and the earliest mention of a Muehleisen is in the Geislingen (Wuerttemberg) documents in 1289 AD. Many of the early Muehleisens were judges.

Of course, in Germany, both "Muehleisen" and "Wuerttemberg" are spelled with an umlaut above the u, that is, like this:

We don't have an umlaut in English, so immigrants to America changed the spelling to "ue" (the usual way of writing this sound with an English alphabet). Of course, we've also changed the pronunciation (see below), and some people shortened or Anglicized the name, making names such as "Muehl" or "Milliron".

How is it pronounced?

Bob Muehleisen wrote:

I would be curious just how they pronounce it [in Japan], or for that matter you, since my branch of the family doesn't even pronounce it right. We say "Mul", like you mull things over. The correct pronunciation is closer to "mule" as in Mueller.

My reply:

I have a degree in linguistics, so this question is very interesting to me! In general, I think it's fair to say that Americans don't pronounce the name in the "correct" German way, because English doesn't have the vowel sound represented by the umlaut. The phonetic description of this vowel is a "high, front, rounded vowel". It's similar to the English vowel in "see", but made with slightly rounded lips. And of course, just as different English dialects pronounce the same vowel in slightly different ways, this vowel is pronounced differently in different parts of Germany. Since we don't have this umlaut vowel in English, Americans have adapted the pronunciation in various ways. As Bob said, his family pronounces the first syllable as "mull". Jeff, below, learned a different pronounciation. And in my family, we pronunce the first syllable like "mule", the the second syllable like the word "lie", and the "s" sound like a "z".

Jeff Zarend wrote:

P.S. FYI, the correct German pronunciation would be MEEliese long e, long I. That's what the (umlauts) do. My parents & grandparents always said meelise when they said it.

To further complicate things... there are regional differences in German pronunciations, so there may in fact be no one "correct" German pronunciation anyway.

How do YOU pronounce it?For the reasons given above, I think there's not much point in arguing over which pronunciation is "right". If it's your name, then of course, your pronunciation is correct. It IS interesting to hear about the variations, though, so please write in to the Muehleisen Family Name group with your pronunciation.

"Muehleisen" in Japan

In Japan, where I live now, I write my name in katakana, the Japanese syllabary that is used for foreign words. It looks like this:

This is based on my own pronunciation of "Muehleisen", which is not how everyone pronounces it. (See the comments above.) It ends up something like "Myu-lai-zen".

Actually, though, the "l" and "r" sounds aren't distinguished in Japanese, so many people in Japan say "myu-rai-zen". Still, to me, it's better than the many Americans who say something like "moo-liss-in", or the one I really hate, "Mil-hau-zen." The "l" is after the "h"!