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

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

The surname Kirschner emerged in the German state of Silesia. Before the late Middle Ages, people were known only by a single name. However, as the population increased and travelers set out on their journeys, it became necessary for people to adopt a second name to identify themselves. Many people, such as the Kirschner family, adopted the name of their feudal occupation as their surname. However, an occupational name did not become a hereditary surname until the office or type of employment became hereditary. There are two occupations which gave rise to this name. The first is that of a church sexton, which is the meaning of the German word "kirchenære." The other occupation is that of a furrier and, in this case, the name is derived from the word "kuerschner."

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Kirschner, Kirschener, Kirscher, Kirschen, Kirsher, Kirshner, Kirshener, Kerschner, Kerscher, Kersher, Cirschner, Cirschener, Cirscher, Cirsher, Cirshner, Cirshener, Kuersch, Kuersener, Kursch, Kuerschner, Kurschner, Kuerssner and many more.

First found in Silesia, where the family was anciently associated with the political and religious conflicts of the area. They declared allegiances to many nobles and princes of early history, lending their influence in struggles for power and status within the region. The family founded numerous branches, many of which acquired manors and estates in surrounding regions, where they contributed to the prosperity of their society. The name probably derives from "Kuersch," meaning pelt, and "Kuerschner" which refers to a furrier. It is not to be confused with "Kirsch," which means cherry. Individual bearers of the name first mentioned in ancient chronicles include Ortlip Hermelin der Kuersener, who lived in Breslau, Silesia around 1360.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirschner research. Another 273 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1800 and 1854 are included under the topic Early Kirschner History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 33 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kirschner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kirschner Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Johan Georg Kirschner came to Philadelphia in 1731
  • Joh Georg Kirschner, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1731
  • Johannes Kirschner, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1731
  • Martin Kirschner, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1742

Kirschner Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Karl J Kirschner, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847
  • Johan Kirschner, aged 19, landed in New York, NY in 1850
  • Adolph Kirschner, who landed in Texas in 1850-1906
  • Henriette Kirschner settled in Texas in 1854
  • Elis Philippine Kirschner, who arrived in America in 1863


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  • David Kirschner (b. 1955), American two-time Primetime Emmy Award winning film and television producer, best known for his 1986 animated feature An American Tail
  • Professor Marc W. Kirschner (b. 1945), American cell biologist, founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School
  • Diana Adile Kirschner, American psychologist and author, best known as the coauthor of Comprehensive Family Therapy
  • Ann Kirschner, American academic, entrepreneur, founder of NFL.com
  • Alec Kirschner (b. 1986), American professional ice hockey player
  • Soozie Kirschner (b. 1957), birth name of Soozie Tyrell, an American violinist and vocalist, most known for her work with Bruce Springsteen in the E Street Band
  • Martin Kirschner (1879-1942), German surgeon who developed the Kirschner wire used in orthopaedics and other types of medical and veterinary surgery
  • Eduard "Edi" Kirschner (b. 1953), German former professional footballer who played from 1975 to 1989
  • Hauptmann Joachim Kirschner (1920-1943), German World War II Luftwaffe flying ace credited with 188 aerial victories, recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
  • Herbert Kirschner (1925-2010), German sprint canoer who competed at the 1956 Summer Olympics

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  1. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
  4. Neubecker, Ottfried. Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon der bürgerlichen Geschlechter Deutschlands, Oesterreichs und der Schweiz. Battenberg, München: 1985. Print.
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
  7. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
  8. Nied, Edmund. Fraenkische Familiennamen urkundlich gesammelt und sprachlich gedeutet. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1933. Print.
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The Kirschner Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kirschner 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 4 June 2014 at 08:23.

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