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

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

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Peter, Petter, Peeter, Peetter, Peater, Peatter, Peters, Petersen, Peer, Peers and many more.

First found in the Palatinate, where the name emerged in mediaeval times as one of the notable families of the region. From the 13th century the surname was identified with the great social and economic evolution which made this territory a landmark contributor to the development of the nation.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Petersen research. Another 349 words(25 lines of text) covering the years 1790, 1747, 1784, 1615, 1676, 1624, 1677, 1779, 1827, 1819, 1864, 1856 and 1918 are included under the topic Early Petersen History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 205 words(15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Petersen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Petersen Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Henrich Petersen, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1640
  • Else Petersen, who arrived in New Netherland(s) in 1650
  • Griet je Jans Petersen, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1652
  • Christian Petersen, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1657
  • Paul Petersen, who arrived in New Netherland(s) in 1658


Petersen Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Hans Petersen, aged 28, arrived in North Carolina in 1754
  • Paridon Petersen, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1770

Petersen Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Friedrich Petersen, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1806
  • Alexander Petersen, aged 36, arrived in Missouri in 1849
  • Carolina Petersen, who landed in New York, NY in 1850
  • Dorothea Petersen, who landed in New York, NY in 1850
  • August Petersen, who arrived in America in 1866


Petersen Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Karl Lauritz Petersen, who landed in New York, NY in 1901
  • Charles Petersen, who arrived in New York, NY in 1901
  • George Petersen, who arrived in Mississippi in 1902
  • Niels C Petersen, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1904
  • Oskar Writh Petersen, who landed in Wisconsin in 1920


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  • Specialist Four Danny John Petersen (1949-1970), United States Army soldier and a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Vietnam War
  • Vice Admiral Forrest S. Petersen (1922-1990), American highly decorated aviator
  • Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen Jr. (b. 1932), first African-American Marine Corps aviator and the first African-American Marine Corps general
  • Otto Petersen (1960-2014), American adult-themed ventriloq Uist who performed in the act Otto & George
  • Wolfgang Petersen (b. 1941), German film director perhaps best known for the 1981 World War II submarine warfare film Das Boot
  • Julius Peter Christian Petersen (1839-1910), Danish mathematician
  • Thyge Alexander Petersen (1902-1964), Danish light heavyweight professional boxer who competed in the 1920s and won a silver medal in boxing at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris
  • Mr. Marius Petersen (d. 1912), aged 24, English Third Class passenger from London who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking


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  1. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
  2. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  3. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
  4. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
  5. 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).
  6. Kapff, Rudolf. Schwäbische Geschlechtsnamen. Stuttgart: Verlag Silberburg, 1927. Print.
  7. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
  8. Bahlow, Hans (Edda Gentry trns). Dictionary of German Names . Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-924119-35-7).
  9. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
  10. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  11. ...

The Petersen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Petersen 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 30 April 2014 at 01:40.

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