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

Origins Available: German, Jewish

Where did the German Rosenthal family come from? When did the Rosenthal family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Rosenthal family history?

The name Rosenthal comes from the Rhineland, an ancient region of Germany. In pre-medieval times, the Germans used only one name, but later they were forced by a growing population to adopt hereditary surnames; so as to remain distinct from the many others of the same first name. Local names were often chosen. They originally indicated land ownership, and frequently carried the prefix von, meaning "of" or "from," which is often taken as an indication of aristocratic lineage. Rosenthal was a name for some one lived in a township called Resenthal which is a place-name that denoted someone who came from an area where there was a valley of roses. Rosenthal is therefore a local name, indicating that the original bearer once lived, or held land in that area.


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 Rosenthal include Rosenthal, Rosental, Rosenthall, Rosentahl, Rosenthaler, Rosentaler, Rosethal, Rosetal, Rosethaler, Rosetaler, Rozenthal, Rozental, Rossenthal, Rossental, Rossenthaler, Rossentaler and many more.

First found in the Rhineland, where the name contributed greatly to the development of an emerging nation and would later play a large role in the tribal and national conflicts of the area. In later years the name branched into many houses, each playing a significant role in the local social and political affairs.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rosenthal research. Another 290 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1597, 1622, 1625, and 1771 are included under the topic Early Rosenthal History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rosenthal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Between the 17th and 20th centuries, hundreds of thousands of Europeans came to North America, and many Rhinelanders were among them. They had many various reasons for making the choice: to escape poverty and persecution, for adventure, and for the opportunity to own their own land. Ellis Island, one of the main American immigration centers, saw many settlers as they moved on to the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, and New York. In Canada, they found homes in Ontario, and on the great plains of the Midwestern provinces. The Rosenthal were among of the early German families that came to North America:

Rosenthal Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Johan Rosenthal, who sailed to America in 1709
  • George Rosenthal, who arrived in New York, NY in 1782
  • Christ Rosenthal, who arrived in America in 1783
  • Fedrick Rosenthal, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1794
  • Fredrick Rosenthal, who came to Philadelphia in 1794

Rosenthal Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Charlotte Rosenthal, who landed in North America in 1832-1849
  • Isaac Moses Rosenthal, aged 24, landed in Missouri in 1844
  • Heinrich Rosenthal, who arrived in Texas in 1846
  • Heinrich Rosenthal, who came to Texas in 1846
  • Adolph Rosenthal, who landed in New York, NY in 1850

Rosenthal Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Max Rosenthal, who arrived in Mississippi in 1904

Rosenthal Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Christoff Rosenthal, who sailed to Canada in 1783

Rosenthal Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Charles Rosenthal, a cabinetmaker, arrived in South Australia in 1848 aboard the ship "Alfred"


  • Daniel Peter Rosenthal (1968-1988), American Student from Staten Island, New York, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died
  • Andrea Victoria Rosenthal (1966-1988), American Student from New York, New York, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died
  • Lieutenant Colonel Robert "Rosie" Rosenthal (1917-2007), U.S. Air Force pilot during World War II, recipient of the the Air Medal with seven clusters, Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross from Great Britain
  • Richard L. "Rick" Rosenthal Jr. (b. 1949), American film and television director, known for his work on the television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Smallville
  • Paul Rosenthal (b. 1942), American violinist
  • Paul D. Rosenthal (b. 1959), American politician, Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives (2013-)
  • Lyova Haskell Rosenthal (b. 1929), original name of Lee Grant, American Academy Award winning theater, film and television actress
  • Macha Louis Rosenthal, prominent American poet
  • Norman E. Rosenthal, South African, author, psychiatrist and scientist
  • Abraham Michael "A.M." Rosenthal (1922-2006), Canadian-born, managing editor of the New York Times, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1960, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom




  1. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
  2. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
  3. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
  4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Oswald, G. Lexicon der Heraldik. Leipzig: 1984. Print.
  7. Steed, Henry Wickham . The Hapsburg Monarchy. London: Constable and Company, 1919. Print.
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
  10. Jones, Henry Z. Palatine Families of New York 2 Volumes. Rockland, ME: Picton Press, 2001. Print. (ISBN 978-0961388829).
  11. ...

This page was last modified on 3 December 2014 at 14:05.

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