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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, German, Norwegian, Swedish

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.


The surname Carlson was 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.

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


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 and printed products wherever possible.


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


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

  • John Carlson (d. 2016), American sportscaster who called New England Patriots games from 1980-1986
  • C. Chester Carlson, American Democrat politician, Member of Alaska Territorial House of Representatives 3rd District, 1949-52
  • Chester Floyd Carlson (1906-1968), American inventor, best known for having invented the process of electrophotography
  • 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)
  • Richard D. Carlson (1912-1977), American actor, television and film director, and screenwriter
  • Paul Carlson (1928-1964), American physician and medical missionary, best known for his work in the Congo
  • Kelly Lee Carlson (b. 1976), American actress and model
  • 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"
  • Dylan Carlson (b. 1967), American lead guitarist, lead singer of the group Earth
  • 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
  • ...

Carlson Historic Events

Empress of Ireland

  • Mr. Andrew Carlson, American Third Class Passenger from Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914

Flight 191

  • Ms C Carlson, American passenger from Los Angeles, California, USA, who flew aboard American Airlines Flight 191 and died in the crash on May 25, 1979

RMS Lusitania

  • Mr. C. J. Carlson, Swiss 3rd Class passenger returning from Chicago, Illinois, USA going to Sweden, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking

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

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    Other References

    1. Kneschke, Dr. Ernest Heinrich. Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon 9 Volumes New General German Aristocracy Lexicon. Leipzig: Friedrich Voigt, 1859. Print.
    2. Neubecker, Ottfried. Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon der bürgerlichen Geschlechter Deutschlands, Oesterreichs und der Schweiz. Battenberg, München: 1985. Print.
    3. Gritzner, M. Handbuch der heraldischen Terminologie in zwölf Zungen. Nürnberg: 1890. Print.
    4. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
    5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    6. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
    8. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
    9. Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann. Deutches Namenbuch. Stuttgart: Verlag von Adolf Bonz & Comp, 1928. Print.
    10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    11. ...

    The Carlson Family Crest was acquired from the 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 2 May 2016 at 14:53.

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