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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: German, Jewish

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

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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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.

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.


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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
  • Lawrence Robert Klein (1920-2013), American economist, laureate of Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences (1980), recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal (1959)
  • David Klein (b. 1919), American diplomatist, was president of the German-American Partnership program 1977-85, as well as special assistant for Foreign Affairs to the president
  • Calvin Richard Klein (b. 1942), immensely popular American fashion designer and was named to the Coty Hall of Fame
  • Carole Klein (b. 1942), original name of Carole King, American singer, songwriter, and pianist, best known for her album Tapestry which topped the U.S. album chart for 15 weeks
  • Christian Felix Klein (1849-1925), German mathematician, creator of the Klein bottle
  • Helmut Klein (b. 1930), prominent East German academic
  • Louis Klein, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815
  • Mr. Charles Klein (d. 1915), English 1st Class Passenger from London, England, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking

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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. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
  2. Kapff, Rudolf. Schwäbische Geschlechtsnamen. Stuttgart: Verlag Silberburg, 1927. Print.
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Jones, Henry Z. Palatine Families of New York 2 Volumes. Rockland, ME: Picton Press, 2001. Print. (ISBN 978-0961388829).
  6. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmachers Wappenbuch. München, Battenberg: 1975. Print.
  7. Bahlow, Hans (Edda Gentry trns). Dictionary of German Names . Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-924119-35-7).
  8. Garland, Mary and Henry Garland Editions. Oxford Companion To German Literature 3rd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print. (ISBN 0198158963).
  9. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
  10. Neubecker, Ottfried. Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon der bürgerlichen Geschlechter Deutschlands, Oesterreichs und der Schweiz. Battenberg, München: 1985. 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 14 April 2015 at 17:29.

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