For general knowledge/discussion/fyi. We can trace parts of our Rapp family roots back into the late 1600's in central Sweden. My Dad's family was from Goteborg (John Douglas Rapp) my Mother from Stockholm (born Sparring). During my uncle's service in the Swedish military he found some evidence from his geneology hunts that the Rapp name was originally a soldiers name and came into being as one of many shorter (4 & 5 letter) names developed in a time when there had grown to be too many 'sons of ...' (andersson, kristenson, ericsson's etc.) for the military to keep track of. The name refered to a quick, forceful strike with a sword or pike that was delivered on an enemy. It basically meant hitting something fast and hard. We've been interested to substantiate this theory from other sources for some time.
Time spent living in Europe uncovered the name mostly throughout central/southern Sweden and Southern Germany.We have always wondered whether the 30-years war (during which Swedish king Gustave Adolphus led Protestant Swedish troops into the heart of Catholic Germany and was eventually killed there) played some part in spreading the name in either direction. I also found a great brewery, Brauerei Rapp, located in Kutzenhausen in the Augsburg region not too far from Munich, founded in 1893 and which is still run by a Rapp family. The only coat of arms I've ever seen that was even close, was from a Norweigen RAPPE Family, Red field with black diagonal stripe and either a lion or other creature in the upper left corner. There was a large Rapp family presence listed in the Mainz, Germany region in the 17 & 1800's. Many references and tributes to the famous Napoleanic General Rapp in both Germany and France, including the Rapp name being inscribed on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Finally there is a tombstone of a young solider, in the German graveyards in Normandy (age 19) who was killed shortly after the June 6th 1944 D-Day invasion began, who is listed as also being from Southern Germany and oddly enough bearing my name, Carl Rapp. Regards to Rapps everywhere and goodnight