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

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

The surname Kirshen 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 Kirshen 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 Kirshen research. Another 273 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1800 and 1854 are included under the topic Early Kirshen 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 Kirshen 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: Philip Kirshner, who arrived in the New World at the age of 28 in 1709 with his wife, daughter, and two sons. Johan Georg Kirschner came to Philadelphia in 1731.

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  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. 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. 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).
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Journeys German Immigration, Settlement and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  7. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
  8. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
  11. ...

The Kirshen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kirshen 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 16 August 2011 at 11:19.

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