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Rothschild (German pronunciation: [ˈʁoːt.ʃɪlt]) is a name derived from the German zum rothen Schild (with the old spelling "th"), meaning "with the red sign", in reference to the houses where these family members lived or had lived. At the time, houses were designated by signs with different symbols or colors, not numbers. The name Rothschild in Yiddish means "red coat" (coat as in heraldic coat of arms). The Rothschild banking family's coat of arms features in the center of its heraldry a red shield.

The German surname "Rothschild" is not related to the Scottish/Irish surname of "Rothchilds" from the United Kingdom.


The most notable family of people with this surname are descendants of Mayer Amschel Rothschild who formed a financial dynasty and, in modern history, perhaps the wealthiest family by the scale of their private fortune.

In Denmark, by royal decree of 29 March 1814, all Danish Jews were obliged to adopt a surname after their town of residence. In the records, one family with residence in Roskilde took the name Rothschild, presumably because of the German pronunciation of the town's name.[1] The wife of writer Meïr Aron Goldschmidt, Lea Rothschild (born 1801), was of that family. There are no indications that the Rothschilds of Roskilde had any relation with the other Rothschild families.

The name is also carried by others, mostly Ashkenazi Jews, who are not related to members of the banking family.

People outside the banking family[edit]

People of the banking family[edit]




  • Carl Mayer von Rothschild (1788–1855), German banker, son of Mayer Amschel Rothschild
  • Cécile de Rothschild (1913-1995), French socialite and friend of Greta Garbo, daughter of Robert Philippe de Rothschild
  • Charles Rothschild (1877–1923), English banker and entomologist, son of Nathan, 1st Baron Rothschild
  • Charlotte de Rothschild (1825–1899), French socialite and painter, daughter of James Mayer de Rothschild, wife of her cousin Nathaniel de Rothschild
  • Charlotte von Rothschild (1819–1884), British socialite, daughter of Carl Mayer von Rothschild, wife of her first cousin Lionel de Rothschild
  • Charlotte Henriette de Rothschild (b. 1955), British singer, daughter of Edmund Leopold de Rothschild
  • Charlotte Nathan Rothschild (1807–1859), British socialite, daughter of Nathan Mayer Rothschild, wife of her first cousin Anselm von Rothschild





  • Guy de Rothschild (1909–2007), French banker, son of Édouard Alphonse de Rothschild







  • Pauline de Rothschild (née Potter, 1908–1976), French writer and fashion designer, wife of Philippe de Rothschild
  • Philippe de Rothschild (1902–1988), French race car driver, screenwriter, producer, and wine grower, son of Henri de Rothschild
  • Philippine de Rothschild (1933-2014), French actress and wine grower, daughter of Philippe de Rothschild




Fictional characters[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Elsebeth Paikin, President Jewish Genealogical Society of Denmark
  2. ^ Rothschild, Alonzo; Rothschild, John (1 January 1917). ""Honest Abe" : a study in integrity based on the early life of Abraham Lincoln". Boston ; New York : Houghton Mifflin Company – via Internet Archive.
  3. ^ "Rothschild, Alonzo. Papers, 1880-1919 - Illinois History and Lincoln Collections".


  • Hanks, Patrick Dictionary of American Family Names Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-508137-4