Bernstein History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The German state of Prussia, which reached the zenith of its power in the late 19th century, is the glorious birthplace of the distinguished surname Bernstein. In the medieval era, after the fall of the Roman Empire, the German lands were inhabited by a variety of Barbarian tribes. The borders of the Barbarian kingdoms changed frequently, but the region that became known as Prussia was roughly divided between the areas of Brandenburg-Prussia, West Prussia, and East Prussia. The colorful history of Brandenburg-Prussia provides a glimpse at the oldest origins of the Bernstein family.

Early Origins of the Bernstein family

The surname Bernstein was first found in Prussia, 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 struggles for power and status within the region. They branched into numerous houses, and their contributions were sought by many leaders in their search for power.

Early History of the Bernstein family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bernstein research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1812 and 1884 are included under the topic Early Bernstein History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bernstein Spelling Variations

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 Bernstein include Bernstein, Baerenstein, Baernstein, Barnestein, Barnstein, Bernsteine, Bernestein, Bernstien, Bernestien and many more.

Early Notables of the Bernstein family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Bernstein Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bernstein migration to the United States +

Prussia played an extremely influential role in shaping modern German history. It remained a part of Germany until after the Second World War. Prussia was divided among the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany. Many Prussians became residents of these new countries after the War, and many 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 to Ontario and the Prairies. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Bernstein were

Bernstein Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Bernstein, who arrived in Texas in 1844
  • Isaac Bernstein, who arrived in Texas in 1850 [1]
  • M Bernstein, aged 62, who landed in New York, NY in 1851 [1]
  • Z Bernstein, aged 60, who landed in New York, NY in 1851 [1]
  • Kusel Bernstein, who landed in America in 1851 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bernstein Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Max Bernstein, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1906 [1]
  • A H Bernstein, who landed in Mississippi in 1906 [1]

New Zealand Bernstein migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Bernstein Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Davis Bernstein, aged 22, a carpenter, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Bernstein (post 1700) +

  • Walter Bernstein (1919-2021), American screenwriter and film producer who was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studios in the 1950s because of his views on communism, recipient of multiple Writers Guild of America Awards
  • Nancy Bernstein (1960-2015), American visual effects producer, Head of Production at DreamWorks Animation
  • Sid Bernstein (1918-2013), American music producer and promoter who brought The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Herman's Hermits, The Moody Blues, and The Kinks to America
  • Jake Bernstein, American co-winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting
  • Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), American conductor, composer, author, music lecturer and pianist. He was the first conductor born and educated in the United States of America to receive world-wide acclaim
  • Carl Bernstein (b. 1944), American journalist
  • Eduard Bernstein (1850-1932), German politician and writer, who was a member of the Social Democratic party
  • Ms. Judith Sarah Bernstein O.B.E., British Joint Head for Coroners, Burials, Cremation and Inquiries Policy Team for the Ministry of Justice, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for public service [2]
  • Henry Bernstein (1876-1953), French dramatist
  • Diane Bernstein Kunz (b. 1952), American author, historian, and lawyer

Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)
  • Michael Stuart Bernstein (1952-1988), American Lawyer (Us Dept. Of Justice) Officer Of Special Investigation from Bethesda, Maryland, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died [3]

Suggested Readings for the name Bernstein +

  • 1330 "Family Matters, Sam, Jennie, and the Kids" by Burton Bernstein, "It Began with Zade Usher: The History and Record of the Families Bernstein-Loyev/Lewis-Mazur" by Yaffa Draznin.

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018,
  3. ^ Pan Am Flight 103's victims: A list of those killed 25 years ago | (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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