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

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

The surname Kessler is a metonymic surname; it is derived from the principle object associated with the occupation of the original holder. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the German word "kezzel," which in turn comes from the Old German word "kezzil," which means "kettle" or "cauldron."

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Kessler, Kessller, Kesler, Kesller, Kesseler, Kesseller, Keseler, Keseller, Kaessler, Kaesler, Kaeseler, Kaesseler, Cessler, Cessller, Cesler, Cesller, Cesseler, Cesseller, Ceseler, Ceseller, Caessler, Caesler, Caeseler and many more.

First found in Hessen and the Rhineland, where the family became noted for its many branches within the region, each house acquiring a status and influence which was sought by the princes of the region. Chronicles first mention Erbo Kesseler of Strasbourg in 1261, and Hans Kesseler of Breslau, Silesia, in 1384.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kessler research. Another 183 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1317, 1571, 1765, and 1803 are included under the topic Early Kessler History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 27 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kessler Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kessler Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Johannes Kessler, who arrived in New York City between 1709-10
  • Maria and Nicol Kessler arrived in New York between 1709-10
  • Frans Niklaas Kessler, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • Johann Kessler, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1709
  • Johannes Kessler, who landed in New York, NY in 1710


Kessler Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Catharina Kessler, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Andreas Kessler, aged 42, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1805
  • Joseph Kessler, who landed in Ohio in 1824
  • Karl Kessler, who arrived in North America in 1827
  • Philip Baltzer Kessler, who landed in Maryland in 1828


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  • Glenn Kessler (b. 1970), American screenwriter and television producer
  • Karl G Kessler (1919-1997), American physicist and president of the Optical Society of America
  • David Kessler (b. 1951), American commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration in 1990, appointed by President George Bush and reappointed again in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, and in 1997 he became dean of the Yale University School of Medicine
  • Private First Class Patrick L Kessler (1922-1944), American Army soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
  • Major-General Alfred August Jr. Kessler (1898-1956), American Commanding General 4th Air Force (1952-1955)
  • Harry Graf Kessler (1868-1937), Anglo-German count, diplomat, writer, and patron of modern art


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  • Abraham Kesler (also Kessler), 1809-1891 by Richard W. Tobin.
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  1. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
  2. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmachers Wappenbuch. München, Battenberg: 1975. Print.
  5. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Gritzner, M. Handbuch der heraldischen Terminologie in zwölf Zungen. Nürnberg: 1890. Print.
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Kessler Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kessler 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 23 July 2014 at 20:10.

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