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

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

The long and noble heritage behind the name of Steiner first began in medieval Austria. While the patronymic and metronymic surnames, which are derived from the name of the father and mother respectively, are the most common form of a hereditary surname in Germany, occupational surnames also emerged during the late Middle Ages. Many people, such as the Steiner family, adopted the name of their occupation as their surname. However, an occupational name did not become a hereditary surname until the office or type of employment became hereditary. The surname Steiner was an occupational name for a stone cutter. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old German word stein, meaning stone. In some cases the name may be topographical in nature and derive from the fact the original bearer lived near a prominent stone or rock.

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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 Steiner include Steiner, Steinert, Steinertz, Steinerth, Steinere, Stein, Steine and many more.

First found in Austria, in the cities of Berne and Neuchatel, where the name was anciently associated with the tribal conflicts of the area. They declared allegiances to many nobles and princes of early history, lending their influence in regional political struggles for power. They branched into many houses in Austria, and their contributions were sought by many leaders in their search for power.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Steiner research. Another 265 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1796, 1809, 1810, 1820, 1838, and 1863 are included under the topic Early Steiner History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 43 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Steiner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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After the First World War, Austria became a republic. The Treaty of Versailles broke up the empire in 1919 and many of the Sudeten Germans were incorporated into the new nation of Czechoslovakia. In the 20th century, many Austrians migrated to other parts of Germany or Europe, as well as to North America. In the United States, the majority of settlers landed in Philadelphia, and moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Many German settlers also migrated to Canada, particularly Ontario and the Prairies. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Steiner were

Steiner Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Michel Steiner, who immigrated to America in 1709
  • Jorg Steiner, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • Michel Steiner, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • Christian Steiner came to Lancaster in 1719
  • Simon Steiner with his wife Gertrude, came to America in 1734


Steiner Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Jacob Steiner, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1836
  • John Steiner, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838
  • Joh Georg Steiner, who landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1847
  • Katharina Steiner, aged 38, landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1847
  • Friedrich Steiner, aged 7, landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1847


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  • George Steiner (b. 1929), prominent American writer, scholar, and critic, and was awarded the Chevalier, Légion d'honneur
  • Claude Steiner (b. 1935), American clinical psychologist
  • Gitta Steiner (1932-1990), American composer
  • Herman Steiner (1905-1955), American chess champion
  • Ralph Steiner (1899-1986), American photographer
  • Donald F. Steiner (b. 1930), American biochemist awarded the 1984/85 Wolf Prize in Medicine
  • Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), German philosopher and founder of the innovative Waldorf school
  • Kilian von Steiner (1833-1903), German banker and industrialist
  • Max Steiner (1888-1971), Hollywood film composer
  • Maximilian Steiner (1839-1880), Austrian actor and theatre manager


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  1. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmachers Wappenbuch. München, Battenberg: 1975. Print.
  2. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
  3. Oswald, G. Lexicon der Heraldik. Leipzig: 1984. Print.
  4. Kneschke, Dr. Ernest Heinrich. Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon 9 Volumes New General German Aristocracy Lexicon. Leipzig: Friedrich Voigt, 1859. Print.
  5. Jones, Henry Z. Palatine Families of New York 2 Volumes. Rockland, ME: Picton Press, 2001. Print. (ISBN 978-0961388829).
  6. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
  8. Kapff, Rudolf. Schwäbische Geschlechtsnamen. Stuttgart: Verlag Silberburg, 1927. Print.
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann. Deutches Namenbuch. Stuttgart: Verlag von Adolf Bonz & Comp, 1928. Print.
  11. ...

The Steiner Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Steiner 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 24 December 2013 at 19:21.

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