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

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

The ancient roots of the Kestner family are found in the German state of Bavaria. Kestner was a local name, for someone who lived in Franconia where their name rose to prominence through their involvement in the social and cultural affairs of the area.

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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 Kestner include Kaestner, Kastner, Kestner, Kastener, Kaestener, Kestener, Cestner, Kesstner, Kaesstner, Kasstner, Castner, Caestner, Koestner, Kostner, Coestner and many more.

First found in Franconia, where the name was an integral part of the feudal society which would shape modern European history. Many prominent branches of the family would strive to make this name renowned as they contributed to the social, economic and political affairs of the region.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kestner research. Another 389 words(28 lines of text) covering the years 1306, 1468, 1565, 1635, 1810, 1769, 1741, 1800 and 1773 are included under the topic Early Kestner History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 167 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kestner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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German settlers were among the most common to come to North America between the mid-17th and mid-20th centuries. Poverty and religious persecution drove many Bavarians to make this long trek. tenant farmers were also enticed by the prospect of owning land. From east to west, these German immigrants populated the United States, settling in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Ontario and the prairie provinces of Canada also provided homes to many. Early settlers bearing the Kestner surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Kestner Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Johann Kestner, who landed in America in 1780

Kestner Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Kestner, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1871
  • Charles Kestner, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1871
  • Georg Kestner, aged 31, who landed in America, in 1892
  • Gertrud Kestner, aged 64, who emigrated to the United States, in 1895
  • Johann Kestner, aged 35, who settled in America, in 1895


Kestner Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Clara Kestner, aged 47, who landed in America, in 1908
  • Bernhard Kestner, aged 56, who emigrated to the United States, in 1913

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  • Darrell Kestner (b. 1953), American professional golfer
  • Boyd Kestner (b. 1964), American actor, best known for his starring role in The Outsiders television series
  • Georg Christian August Kestner (1777-1853), German diplomat and art collector


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  1. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
  2. Kapff, Rudolf. Schwäbische Geschlechtsnamen. Stuttgart: Verlag Silberburg, 1927. Print.
  3. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmacher's Grosses Wappenbuch 35 Volumes. Germany: Bauer & Raspe. Print.
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Bahlow, Hans. Mecklenburgisches Namenbüchlein Ein Führer durch Mecklenburgs Familiennamen. Rostock: Carl Hinstorffs Verlag, 1932. Print.
  6. Neubecker, Ottfried. Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon der bürgerlichen Geschlechter Deutschlands, Oesterreichs und der Schweiz. Battenberg, München: 1985. Print.
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. 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).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  11. ...

The Kestner Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kestner 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 20 December 2013 at 11:42.

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