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

Origins Available: German-Alt, German

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

The surname Breunig, is likely of patronymic origin, that is, it belongs to the category of surnames derived from the first name of the father of the initial bearer. In this instance, the name indicates "son of Brüning," a variant of Bruno. The personal name Bruno is a pet form of names such as Brunolf, Brunwardt and Brunheri, all derived from the Old High German word "brunja" meaning brown. The name probably would have been initially given as a nickname to one with brown hair or a dark complexion. The name may also have been derived from the Middle High German "brunne" meaning "breastplate." Bruningsen is also a place name in Westfalia.

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In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Breunig include Bruening, Breuninger, Breuninge, Breuning, Brüning, Brünings, Brauening, Brunig, Bruenink, Brunke (Friesland), Bruhnke, Brunken, Brünicke, Brüntjen, Brünjes and many more.

First found in Westfalia. The earliest record dates back to 1206, when Bruning von Staufen, possibly the founder of the village of Breuningsweiler, was mentioned in the "Wurttembergisches Urbunderbuch II." In 1284 Chunrat Bruninch was living in Augsburg and in 1351 Cuonrad Brunig was a curator at Baden-Baden. An unknown Breininger was recorded in Rottweil in 1357. Wolfgang Breuningk was living in Grafental in 1503, and Christoph Breuning in Tubingen in 1539.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Breunig research. Another 239 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1757, 1812, 1514, 1687, 1660, 1727, 1702, 1774 and 1827 are included under the topic Early Breunig History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 161 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Breunig Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The great European flow of migration to North America, which began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century, was particularly attractive to those from the Rhineland who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. Many of those who left the Rhineland to seek their fortunes in the prosperous and free New World settled in the major urban centers of the United States and Canada. In the United States, the settlers from the Rhineland passed through immigration centers like that of Ellis Island, most of them moving on to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, and New York. In Canada, the majority of Rhinelanders settled in Ontario and the prairie provinces. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many important settlers to North America bearing the name Breunig, or one of its variants above:

Breunig Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Peter Breunig arrived in St. Clair County, Illinois in 1857
  • Peter Breunig, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1857

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  • Robert Paul Breunig (b. 1953), former American NFL football linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys
  • Max Breunig (1888-1961), German footballer and captain of the National team at the 1912 Summer Olympics


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  1. 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).
  2. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
  3. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
  6. Oswald, G. Lexicon der Heraldik. Leipzig: 1984. Print.
  7. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
  8. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  9. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Hopeful Journeys German Immigration, Settlement, and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  10. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  11. ...

The Breunig Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Breunig 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 12 December 2013 at 06:40.

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