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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: German, Jewish


The name Klein comes from the German province known as the Rhineland. In pre-medieval times, the German people used only one name, but as the population increased, hereditary surnames became necessary for people to maintain unique identities. Klein is a nickname surname, a style of name based on an eke-name, or added name, that described a characteristic of its original bearer. Klein is a name for a small or short person deriving its origin from the German word "klien," which means "small."

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The surname Klein was first found in the Rhineland, where the name came from humble beginnings but gained a significant reputation for its contribution to the emerging mediaeval society. It later became more prominent as many branches of the same house acquired distant estates and branches, some in foreign countries, always elevating their social status by their great contributions to society.

In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Klein include Klein, Kleinn, Kleine, Kleinne, Kleyn, Kleynn, Kline, Clein, Clein, Cline, Kleiner, Klinertz and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Klein research. Another 491 words (35 lines of text) covering the years 1708, 1745, 1761, 1790, 1818, 1777, 1609, 1666, 1849 and 1925 are included under the topic Early Klein History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Klein Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The great European flow of migration to North America, which began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century, was particularly attractive to those from the Rhineland who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. Many of those who left the Rhineland to seek their fortunes in the prosperous and free New World settled in the major urban centers of the United States and Canada. In the United States, the settlers from the Rhineland passed through immigration centers like that of Ellis Island, most of them moving on to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, and New York. In Canada, the majority of Rhinelanders settled in Ontario and the prairie provinces. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many important settlers to North America bearing the name Klein, or one of its variants above:

Klein Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Uldrich Klein arrived in New York City in 1641 with his wife Afje Pieters
  • Aefje Pieters Klein, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1641
  • Ulrich Klein, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1641
  • Willemyntje Huygens De Klein, who landed in America in 1680

Klein Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Hieronymus Klein, who landed in New York in 1709
  • Peter Klein, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • Amalia Klein, Anna Klein, Henrich Klein, Hieronymus Klein, Jacob Klein, and Johann William Klein all arriving in New York in 1709
  • Amalia Klein, aged 12, landed in New York in 1710
  • Anna Eliz Klein, aged 6, arrived in New York in 1710


Klein Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Hector Klein, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Frederick H Klein, who landed in Ohio in 1816
  • Philipp Klein, who arrived in Brazil in 1828
  • Francis A Klein, who landed in America in 1838
  • Wilhelm Klein, who arrived in Texas in 1840-1850


Klein Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Samuel Klein, who landed in Arkansas in 1906

Klein Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century


  • Franziska Klein, aged 4, landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1902
  • Friedrich Klein, aged 24, arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1902
  • Barbara Klein, aged 17, arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1902
  • Dominik Klein, aged 24, landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1902
  • Edward Klein, aged 14, arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1902

Klein Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Johann Georg Klein, aged 33, a tanner, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Malvina Vidal"
  • Johanna Christiane Klein, aged 23, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Victoria"

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  • Patricia Ann Klein (1953-1988), American Social Worker from Trenton, New Jersey, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died
  • Charles Herbert "Chuck" Klein (1904-1958), American Major League Baseball outfielder
  • Ann Klein, American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for Governor of New Jersey, 1973; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1980
  • Alfred M. Klein, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 13th District, 1956
  • Albert C. Klein, American Democrat politician, Candidate for West Virginia State House of Delegates from Morgan County, 1950
  • Albert Klein, American politician, Socialist Labor Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 4th District, 1894, 1896; Socialist Labor Candidate for New York State Assembly from Kings County 9th District, 1900
  • Aaron Klein, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1964
  • Anna M. Klein, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Maine, 2000
  • Arthur Klein, American politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Bronx County 11th District, 1952
  • Arthur George Klein (1904-1968), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from New York, 1941-45, 1946-56; Justice of New York Supreme Court 1st District, 1957-58

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  • The Klein Family from Holland by John Snell.
  • The Klein Family History by Harold A. Weinberger.
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  1. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
  2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  3. Neubecker, Ottfried. Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon der bürgerlichen Geschlechter Deutschlands, Oesterreichs und der Schweiz. Battenberg, München: 1985. 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. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmacher's Grosses Wappenbuch 35 Volumes. Germany: Bauer & Raspe. Print.
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Götze, Alfred. Familiennamen im badischen Oberland. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1918. Print.
  9. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
  10. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  11. ...

The Klein Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Klein 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 29 April 2016 at 09:58.

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