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

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

The distinguished German surname Brunke is a variant of the surname Brüning, which 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 may also have been derived from the Middle High German "brunne," meaning "breastplate." In Low German the surname often adopted a k-suffix, creating Bruneke which led to Bruhnke and Brünicke. Around 1600, the names Brunke and Brunken began to appear more often in Friesland.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Brunke, Brunger, Bruhnke, Brunken, Brünicke, Brüntjen, Brünjes, Bruneke, Bruenicke and many more.

First found in East Friesland, where the Low German suffix -k was attached to the Westphalian surname Brüning. By about 1600, the name could be found with increasing frequency in the northern areas of Lower Saxony, Pomerania, and Schleswig-Holstein. The earliest known bearer of the surname was Cord Brunke, who was documented in 1594. The young Brunke family eventually branched into many houses, becoming one of the prominent families of the region.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brunke research. Another 169 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1594, 1730, 1803, 1811 and 1891 are included under the topic Early Brunke History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 35 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brunke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Johan Michel Brunk, who emigrated from Holland to New York in 1709; John Crey Brunk, who settled in Philadelphia in 1802; Cater Brunk, who arrived in Baltimore in 1833.

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  • Hans Brunke (1904-1985), German international footballer
  • Michael A Brunke, Senior Research Specialist at the University of Arizona's Institute of Atmospheric Physics
  • Dr. Kathleen Brunke, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Christopher Newport University


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  1. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
  2. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
  3. Strassburger, Ralph B. German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  4. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Bahlow, Hans. Mecklenburgisches Namenbüchlein Ein Führer durch Mecklenburgs Familiennamen. Rostock: Carl Hinstorffs Verlag, 1932. Print.
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Brunke Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Brunke 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 21 November 2013 at 15:41.

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