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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Bavaria, Germany is the ancestral home of the Bersch family. The Bersch surname evolved as a local name. It is a name for a family that lived in Bavaria. The surname Bersch is derivative of the German surname Bercht, which itself is a shortened form of the name Berthold. However, the precursor to the name Berthold was the Old German personal name Berhtwald.


The surname Bersch was first found in Bavaria, where the name Bertsch came from humble beginnings but gained a significant reputation for its contribution to the emerging mediaeval society. It later became more prominent as branches of the house acquired estates in new locations which, combined with their great contributions to society, succeeded in elevating their social status.

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 Bersch include Bertsch, Bertsche, Bertche, Bertsh, Bertshe, Bersch, Bersche, Bartsch, Baertsch, Bartsche, Baertsche, Bartche, Baertche, Bartsh, Baertsh, Bartshe, Baertshe, Barsch, Baersch, Barsche, Baersche and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bersch research. Another 127 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bersch History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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


Thousands of German settlers came to North America between the mid-17th and mid-20th centuries. The hardships of the long voyage were balanced by the opportunity to escape poverty and religious persecution. The descendents of these settlers still populate the states of Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many also live in Ontario and the prairie provinces of Canada. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Bersch or a variant listed above:

Bersch Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Johann Andreas Bersch, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1751

Bersch Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Matthias Bersch, who landed in America in 1816
  • C. Bersch arrived in Baltimore in 1834
  • Jacob Bersch arrived in Missouri in 1836
  • Jacob Bersch, aged 36, arrived in Missouri in 1838

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    Other References

    1. Nied, Edmund. Fraenkische Familiennamen urkundlich gesammelt und sprachlich gedeutet. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1933. Print.
    2. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
    3. 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).
    4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    5. Garland, Mary and Henry Garland Editions. Oxford Companion To German Literature 3rd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print. (ISBN 0198158963).
    6. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
    7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. 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. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    11. ...

    The Bersch Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Bersch 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 27 October 2010 at 13:18.

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