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

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

The long and noble heritage behind the name of Steinke 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 Steinke 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 Steinke 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 Steinke 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 Steinke research. Another 265 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1796, 1809, 1810, 1820, 1838, and 1863 are included under the topic Early Steinke 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 Steinke 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 Steinke were

Steinke Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Louis Steinke, who landed in America in 1857
  • William Steinke, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1868
  • Julius Steinke, who arrived in Arkansas in 1890

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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
  3. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  4. Kapff, Rudolf. Schwäbische Geschlechtsnamen. Stuttgart: Verlag Silberburg, 1927. Print.
  5. Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann. Deutches Namenbuch. Stuttgart: Verlag von Adolf Bonz & Comp, 1928. Print.
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Strassburger, Ralph B. Pennsylvania German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  8. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
  9. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  10. Steed, Henry Wickham . The Hapsburg Monarchy. London: Constable and Company, 1919. Print.
  11. ...

The Steinke Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Steinke 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 11 December 2012 at 18:24.

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