Who Was The First Drumpf? Donald Trump's Ancestor Might Have Been The Original — Or The Last
Since John Oliver launched his insanely popular "Make Donald Drumpf Again" campaign, Donald Trump's surname has been scrutinized and researched to an extent that verges on obsessive. It has absolutely nothing to do with the upcoming presidential election, but it's incredibly entertaining nonetheless. In fact, the topic has become a sort of historical mystery which naturally invites wannabe sleuths and Ancestry.com experts. All of the commotion has us pondering the identity of the first Drumpf who started it all. The short answer is that we don't really know the answer — the name can be traced back a long, long way.
Even the point at which "Drumpf" became "Trump" is unclear. The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire author Gwenda Blair wrote that the name change occurred during the 1600s, but said in a later interview that Trump's grandfather changed it upon coming to the states at just 16 years old in 1885. Perhaps we'll never know. One thing is for certain: Trump's family settled in Kallstadt, Germany in the 1600s. The first Drumpf to move into the town, which Blair affectionately describes as a "muddy settlement," might well be the first known Drumpf on record. Before the 1600s, it get a little blurry.
Back in 1608, according to Blair's book, a lawyer named Hanns Drumpf came to Kallstadt, a community of less than 600 people, most of whom were winegrowers. The next few decades were devastating for the town, which burned to the ground several times during the Thirty Years' War. Hanns Drumpf faded from history, and the name John Philip Trump — probably Hanns' son — was recorded during the late 1600s. Not only was this name more appealing, but John had also become a winegrower and a respected member of the community.
If the surname Drumpf was truly changed to Trump back in the 17th century, then Hanns would have actually been Trump's last known ancestor to keep the original name. However, if the change didn't occur until the late 1800s, then Hanns may have been one of the first to possess the name Drumpf. It seems as though The Donald's family tree leaves more than one question unanswered.
Though Last Week Tonight fans and Trump haters have been delighted by Oliver's mockery of the Trump family name, some critics say that this will achieve nothing more than minimal damage. Greg Brooks, a Las Vegas public affairs and crisis management expert, told the BBC that he believes the hoopla will only cut through the surface of Trump's support net.
Part of winning in politics is just treating your opponent like a meat hook and hanging negative attributes off him or her. Just having fun with their name — that's kind of a playground slap fight.
Still, no one can deny the extent to which Trump has capitalized on the eliteness of his last name. The man tends to name everything he owns after himself. In business, the look and sound of things mean something to consumers. It's unclear whether the same rules apply to Trump's political appeal. The Drumpfs were likely admirable people back in the day, but now the name is being used to delegitimize a candidate who has riled up a real storm in America. For now, the Drumpf who made it all possible will have to remain a mystery.