Von Neumann was born Neumann János Lajos to a wealthy, acculturated and non-observant Jewish family (in Hungarian the family name comes first and his given names equate to John Louis in English). His Hebrew name was Yonah. Von Neumann's place of birth was Budapest in the Kingdom of Hungary which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was the eldest of three children. He had two younger brothers: Michael, born in 1907, and Nicholas, who was born in 1911. His father, Neumann Miksa (English: Max Neumann) was a banker, who held a doctorate in law. He had moved to Budapest from Pécs at the end of the 1880s. Miksa's father and grandfather were both born in Ond (now part of the town of Szerencs), Zemplén County, northern Hungary. John's mother was Kann Margit (English: Margaret Kann); her parents were Jakab Kann and Katalin Meisels. Three generations of the Kann family lived in spacious apartments above the Kann-Heller offices in Budapest; von Neumann's family occupied an 18-room apartment on the top floor.
In 1913, his father was elevated to the nobility for his service to the Austro-Hungarian Empire by Emperor Franz Joseph. The Neumann family thus acquired the hereditary appellation Margittai, meaning of Marghita. The family had no connection with the town; the appellation was chosen in reference to Margaret, as was those chosen coat of arms depicting three marguerites. Neumann János became Margittai Neumann János (John Neumann of Marghita), which he later changed to the German Johann von Neumann.