Show ContentsBurkholder History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Burkholder is a local name from the German region of Westphalia. Local names and other types of hereditary surnames began to be used in Germany after the 12th century. They were derived from the name of the place where the original bearer of the name lived. Sometimes local names bear the prefix "von", meaning "of" or "from". This was originally an indication of land-ownership, and was sometimes a mark of aristocracy. The family originally lived near a beech grove which is derived from the Old German word buchholz, which means beech grove, and is popular throughout Germany. The name Burkholder is the name of numerous villages in the German states.

Early Origins of the Burkholder family

The surname Burkholder was first found in Westphalia, where this family became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times.

Early History of the Burkholder family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burkholder research. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the year 1803 is included under the topic Early Burkholder History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Burkholder 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 Burkholder include Bocholtz, Bockoltz, Bokoltz, Bokkoltz, Bocholtz, Bocholts, Bockolts, Bokkolts, Burkholtz, Burkoltz, Burckholtz, Burkoltz, Burgholtz, Burgholtz, Bocoltz, Burkolt, Burkoltz, Burkolts, Bocholz, Buchholtz, Bochholtz, Buchholtz, Bucholz, Bockholt, Bockhold, Bockholdz, Bocholte, Bokholdz, Bochheldt and many more.

Early Notables of the Burkholder family (pre 1700)

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

Burkholder Ranking

In the United States, the name Burkholder is the 4,370th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [1]

United States Burkholder migration to the United States +

After 1650, thousands of German settlers came to North America to escape the religious persecution and poverty that wracked Europe and to make the most of the opportunity to own their own land in a new country. They settled across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California, and in Canada in Ontario and on the fertile plains of the prairie provinces. Among them:

Burkholder Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Martin Burkholder, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1760 [2]
  • Peter Burkholder, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1761 [2]
  • Ulrich Burkholder, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1763 [2]
Burkholder Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Abraham Burkholder, who landed in Mississippi in 1860 [2]

Canada Burkholder migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Burkholder Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Christian Burkholder, who arrived in Canada in 1832

Contemporary Notables of the name Burkholder (post 1700) +

  • Maxwell Henry Wolf "Max" Burkholder, American child actor
  • James B. Burkholder (1918-2006), former United States Army officer
  • Walter H. Burkholder, American plant pathologist
  • Donald Burkholder (b. 1927), American mathematician and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences
  • Dave Burkholder, Canadian college ice hockey coach
  • Mabel Grace Burkholder (1881-1973), Canadian writer and historian

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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) on Facebook