Hitler's father, Alois Hitler (1837–1903), was the illegitimate child of Maria Anna Schicklgruber. Because the baptismal register did not show the name of his father, Alois initially bore his mother's surname, Schicklgruber. In 1842, Johann Georg Hiedler married Alois's mother, Maria Anna. After she died in 1847 and Johann Georg Hiedler in 1856, Alois was brought up in the family of Hiedler's brother, Johann Nepomuk Hiedler. In 1876, Alois was legitimated and the baptismal register changed by a priest to register Johann Georg Hiedler as Alois's father (recorded as Georg Hitler). Alois then assumed the surname Hitler, also spelled as Hiedler, Hüttler, or Huettler. The Hitler surname is probably based on "one who lives in a hut" (Standard German Hütte for hut) or on "shepherd" (Standard German hüten for to guard); alternatively, it might be derived from the Slavic words Hidlar or Hidlarcek.
Nazi official Hans Frank suggested that Alois's mother had been employed as a housekeeper for a Jewish family in Graz and that the family's 19-year-old son, Leopold Frankenberger, had fathered Alois. Because no Frankenberger was registered in Graz during that period, and no record of Leopold Frankenberger's existence has been produced, historians dismiss the claim that Alois's father was Jewish.