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

Origins Available: English, German, Norwegian, Swedish

Where did the German Carlson family come from? What is the German Carlson family crest and coat of arms? When did the Carlson family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Carlson family history?

Schleswig-Holstein, which is the northernmost state in western Germany, is the homeland of the proud surname Carlson. German surnames developed at a time when most of Schleswig, and most of the German provinces, were states of the Holy Roman Empire. At first people used only a single name, but as the population grew and people began to travel, they began to find it necessary to take on an additional name to differentiate themselves. Fairly general principles guided the development of hereditary surnames in Schleswig. Two of the common types of family names found in the Schleswig are patronymic surnames, which are derived from the father's given name, and metronymic surnames, which are derived from the mother's given name. The surname Carlson derived from the Old German personal name Karl, which is derived from the Middle Latin word "carolus," which refers to an adult male.


Spelling variations of this family name include: Karlson, Carlson, Karlsen, Carlsen, Karlsson, Karlssen, Carlsson and many more.

First found in Schleswig-Holstein, where the family rose to prominence early in the mediaeval era. From the 13th century the surname was identified with the great social and economic evolution which made this territory a landmark contributor to the development of the nation.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carlson research. Another 188 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1717 and 1827 are included under the topic Early Carlson History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 25 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Carlson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Carlson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Carlson, who landed in New York, NY in 1815
  • Mrs. Carlson, aged 44, arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1848
  • Anders Carlson, aged 25, arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1848
  • Johan Carlson arrived in New York in 1849
  • Ludwig Theodor Carlson, aged 23, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1850

Carlson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Mary S Carlson, who landed in Colorado in 1906
  • Nels Carlson, who landed in Wisconsin in 1907
  • Johan Alfred Carlson, who arrived in Wisconsin in 1914
  • Alfred John Carlson, who landed in Wisconsin in 1920
  • Carl Richard Carlson, who arrived in Alabama in 1923

Carlson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Frederick Carlson, aged 37, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • Carl Carlson, aged 28, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1874


  • Robert J Carlson (b. 1929), prominent American executive with the United Technologies Corporation
  • Carolyn Carlson (b. 1943), American dancer and choreographer
  • Chester Floyd Carlson (1906-1968), American inventor
  • Curtis "Curt" Carlson (1914-1999), American businessman, founder of Gold Bond Stamp Company in 1938, later rebranded as Carlson, an international corporation in the hotel, restaurant, and travel industries
  • Dylan Carlson (b. 1967), American lead guitarist, lead singer of the group Earth
  • Brigadier General Evans Fordyce Carlson (1896-1947), U.S. Marine Corps leader of the World War II "Carlson's Raiders", credited with introducing the term "Gung-ho"
  • Kelly Lee Carlson (b. 1976), American actress and model
  • Paul Carlson (1928-1964), American physician and medical missionary, best known for his work in the Congo
  • Richard D. Carlson (1912-1977), American actor, television and film director, and screenwriter
  • Douglas W. "Doug" Carlson (1939-2013), American veterinarian, beef farmer, and politician, Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives (1971 to 1974) and (1977 to 1990)



  • Memories, Peter E. Johnson 1855-1926, and the Descendants of Emil Anton Carlson, 1881-1950 by Fritzene Carlson Moore.

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  1. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
  2. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Gritzner, M. Handbuch der heraldischen Terminologie in zwölf Zungen. Nürnberg: 1890. Print.
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. 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).
  6. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. Print. (ISBN 978-0806303024).
  7. Neubecker, Ottfried. Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon der bürgerlichen Geschlechter Deutschlands, Oesterreichs und der Schweiz. Battenberg, München: 1985. Print.
  8. Steed, Henry Wickham . The Hapsburg Monarchy. London: Constable and Company, 1919. Print.
  9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  10. Kneschke, Dr. Ernest Heinrich. Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon 9 Volumes New General German Aristocracy Lexicon. Leipzig: Friedrich Voigt, 1859. Print.
  11. ...

The Carlson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Carlson 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 9 December 2014 at 23:19.

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