We are trying to find the origin of our family name. Ending with "AU" I thought it might be maybe of german decent. Our last name is "Arsenau". Any word in german that sounds like "arsen" ?

That last name as been traced back to 1650 in France up until now but we are curious to find the origin of the word prior to this since it doesn't mean anything in french really.

  • 'Arsenau' could well be a French name - just google "french etymology arsenau", this turns up lots of references to family names. Also, there might be a link 'arsenau'<'arsenault' (meaning E. 'arsenal'). The German link seems unlikely. Although '-au' is a frequent ending of place names in German (meaning 'meadow'), 'Arsen' means E. 'arsenic'. 'Arsenic meadow' seems a bit odd, although I guess you could come up with a plausible scenario for a place name like this.
    – robert
    May 8, 2014 at 16:06

2 Answers 2



Perhaps you find some information in the above dictinary of family names.

A French dictionary about family names has the name in the French form Arsenault



A research with verwandt.de shows that there is only one entry in a German telephone book with this surname - and the origin is somewhat near to the French border...

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