Re: Where does "Ernst" come from ??
This comes from personal on hand, and on foot, research in Germany:
I had been told, growing up, that my Ernst line came from Bremen, Germany.Later found out that they actually came from Hildesheim in what was then the Kingdom of Germany.Anyway my quest took me to the archives in Bremen where they actually let you take the ancient books off the shelf and leaf through them.
I came across the Registrar’s book from the beginning of Heidelberg University in 1384.There was a teacher listed, named Ernestus I, who was listed as a Scriptor – later learned he taught writing.This was in 1384 and 1385.In 1386, same line entry, it has Ernestus Ernst I.So, in my way of thinking, this was the first use of Ernst as a Family name in Heidelberg, Germany.
But this was not the first use in the country of Germany.I found listings back to 945 A.D.