by professional genealogist Alfred Konder.
The name “Hitler” simply means “smallholder,” which refers to the land holdings of a peasant farmer. So the use of Hitler as a family name is by no means unique to a particular geographical location or to one family. As to the ancestors of Adolf Hitler, they are first recorded in the early fifteenth century in a region of Austria known as the Waldviertel (or “wooded quarter”), which lies in the district of Weitra. There we find a deed drawn up by the Abbot of the Herzogenburg monastery dated 12 May 1435 granting Hanns and Anna Hydler some property in Raabs on the Thaya river, for which they paid forty pounds in the currency of Vienna. This record is followed by another in1457 for a Hans Hytler who was a resident of Refing. In the following generations the “Hitler” name appears in various records: Peter and Agnes Hydler in 1465; Matheus Huetler (or Hietler, Hüetler), living in Rothfahrn in 1568; Simon and Matheus Hietler (or Hüetler, Hüttler), living in Lempach in 1571; Baldin Hüettler, living in Engelstein in 1585; Beit and Barbara Hüetler, who were living in Schofberg in the late 1590’s; and Stephan Hiedler (or Hüetler, Hietler), who was living in Groß-Wolfgers in 1627.