Burnstein 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 Burnstein. 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 Burnstein family.

Early Origins of the Burnstein family

The surname Burnstein 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.

Important Dates for the Burnstein family

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

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

Early Notables of the Burnstein family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Burnstein family

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 Burnstein were Edward Bernstein, who came to Philadelphia, Pa. in 1856; Joseph Bernstein arrived in Texas in 1844; Peter Bernstein settled in Philadelphia in 1868.

Contemporary Notables of the name Burnstein (post 1700)

  • Albert Burnstein, American Democrat politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly 37th District; Elected 1975 [1]


  1. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 25) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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