This unusual surname is of German origin, and is a patronymic form of Albrecht, which is itself from a Germanic personal name, composed of the elements “adal”, noble, and “berht”, bright, famous; the modern form of the name in Germany is also Albrecht.
This was one of the most popular Germanic given names, and was borne by various medieval princes, military leaders, and great churchmen, notably St. Albert of Prague, a Bohemian prince who died a martyr in 997, attempting to convert the Prussians to Christianity. The name was also borne by St. Albert the Great (1193 – 1280), an Aristotelian theologian and tutor of Thomas Aquinas, and Albert the Bear (1100 – 1170), Margrave of Brandenburg. In England the surname is found as Albert or Allbright, and can be found in various forms throughout Europe; Olbright and Ulbricht in Switzerland, Olbrycht and Olbrysz in Poland, Aubert and Auber in France, and Aliberto, Aliberti and Aliperti in Italy. Recorded in German Church Registers are the marriage of Bernhard Albers and Johanna Eldingh in January 20th 1648, at Metelen, Westfalen, and the christening of Berndt, son of Johan Albers and Christina Kramers, on March 9th 1656, at St. Pancratius, Emsdetten, Westfalen.
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anna Alber, which was dated March 25th 1525, christened at Reutlinger, Schwarzwaldkreis, Wuertt, Germany, during the reign of Charles V, “Holy Roman Emperor”, 1519 – 1558.
Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to “develop” often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.