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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: Dutch-Alt, Dutch, English, German, Irish, Swedish

Where did the German Bergen family come from? What is the German Bergen family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bergen family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bergen family history?

Medieval Austria is the ancient homeland of the Bergen family. Austria, which was originally home to a Celtic people, was conquered by the Roman Empire in about 15 BC Following the fall of Rome, Austria was repeatedly invaded by barbarian tribes, such as the Vandals, Visigoths, and Huns, who swept in from the east. During the 5th and 6th centuries, the Alemanni, Avars and Slavs settled Austria. The Avars were defeated in 785 by the Frankish emperor Charlemagne, who set up the East Mark, which later became known as the Österreich. Austria was ruled by the Babenburger dynasty until 1278, when they were succeeded by the Hapsburg dynasty, which ruled Austria until the 20th century.

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Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Bergen include Bergen, Berghen, Berggen, Bergenn, Berrgen, Burgen, Burghen and many more.

First found in Austria, where the name could be considered to make a great early contribution to the feudal society which became the backbone of early development of Europe. The name became prominent in local affairs and branched into many houses which played important roles in the savage tribal and national conflicts, each group seeking power and status in an ever changing territorial profile.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bergen research. Another 361 words(26 lines of text) covering the years 1846, 1851, 1853, 1673 and 1530 are included under the topic Early Bergen History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 67 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bergen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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After the First World War, Austria became a republic. The Treaty of Versailles broke up the empire in 1919 and many of the Sudeten Germans were incorporated into the new nation of Czechoslovakia. In the 20th century, many Austrians migrated to other parts of Germany or Europe, as well as to North America. In the United States, the majority of settlers landed in Philadelphia, and moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Many German settlers also migrated to Canada, particularly Ontario and the Prairies. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Bergen were

Bergen Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Hans Hans Bergen, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1620
  • Martin Gerretsen Van Bergen, who landed in Albany, NY in 1630
  • Hans Hansen Bergen, who arrived in New York in 1633
  • Hans Hansen Van Bergen, who landed in New York, NY in 1633
  • Breckje Hans Bergen, who arrived in New York, NY in 1661

Bergen Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Hans Bergen, who landed in New York in 1709

Bergen Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Joh V Bergen, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Andrew Bergen, aged 24, arrived in New York in 1835
  • Casper Bergen, aged 19, arrived in New York, NY in 1847
  • John Bergen, who arrived in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1848
  • Bridget Bergen, aged 16, landed in New York in 1849


Bergen Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Moses B Bergen, who landed in Mississippi in 1900

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  • Candice Patricia Bergen (b. 1946), American five-time Emmy Award, two-time Golden Globe winning American actress
  • Edgar Bergen (1903-1978), born Edgar John Bergren, American ventriloq Uist, actor and radio performer known for his double entendres with Charlie, his dummy and his fictional feuds with W.C. Fields, inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame, father of Candice Bergen
  • William Benjamin Bergen, American aerospace engineer, who became President of Aerospace Operations in 1971
  • Polly Bergen (b. 1930), American Emmy Award-winning actress, singer, and entrepreneur
  • Robert "Bob" Bergen (b. 1964), American voice actor, current voice of Porky Pig
  • William Aloysius "Bill" Bergen (1878-1943), American Major League Baseball catcher who played from 1901 through 1911
  • Frances Bergen (1922-2006), born Frances Westerman, American actress and fashion model, wife of ventriloq Uist Edgar Bergen
  • Steve von Bergen, Swiss footballer


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Nullus volat altius ales
Motto Translation: No bird soars higher

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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  3. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. Print. (ISBN 978-0806303024).
  4. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Journeys German Immigration, Settlement and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  5. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Bahlow, Hans. Mecklenburgisches Namenbüchlein Ein Führer durch Mecklenburgs Familiennamen. Rostock: Carl Hinstorffs Verlag, 1932. Print.
  8. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
  9. Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann. Deutches Namenbuch. Stuttgart: Verlag von Adolf Bonz & Comp, 1928. Print.
  10. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  11. ...

The Bergen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bergen Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 January 2014 at 09:19.

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