I am American and speak only English but most of my ancestry is from Germany. My father used to tell us kids that his grandfather changed the family's last name because it meant cow dung. The old name was "havelin" or something close to that. I have tried finding a German word or phrase close to this that meant anything but with no luck. With all the German players here, maybe you all can help solve this family mystery for us? Thank you.
Since I know of no word or phrases in English that it could be compared to, I assume it was German. However supposedly the name Havelin is Scandinavian and the phrase "have lin" does have meaning in the Scandinavian languages I check, but nothing bad that would make someone change it.