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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: German, Irish, Jewish, Scottish

The name Cline comes from the German province known as the Rhineland. In pre-medieval times, the German people used only one name, but as the population increased, hereditary surnames became necessary for people to maintain unique identities. Cline is a nickname surname, a style of name based on an eke-name, or added name, that described a characteristic of its original bearer. Cline is a name for a small or short person deriving its origin from the German word "klien," which means "small."


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 Cline include Klein, Kleinn, Kleine, Kleinne, Kleyn, Kleynn, Kline, Clein, Clein, Cline, Kleiner, Klinertz and many more.

First found in the Rhineland, where the name came from humble beginnings but gained a significant reputation for its contribution to the emerging mediaeval society. It later became more prominent as many branches of the same house acquired distant estates and branches, some in foreign countries, always elevating their social status by their great contributions to society.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cline research. Another 491 words (35 lines of text) covering the years 1708, 1745, 1761, 1790, 1818, 1777, 1609, 1666, 1849 and 1925 are included under the topic Early Cline History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cline Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Between the 17th and 20th centuries, hundreds of thousands of Europeans came to North America, and many Rhinelanders were among them. They had many various reasons for making the choice: to escape poverty and persecution, for adventure, and for the opportunity to own their own land. Ellis Island, one of the main American immigration centers, saw many settlers as they moved on to the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, and New York. In Canada, they found homes in Ontario, and on the great plains of the Midwestern provinces. The Cline were among of the early German families that came to North America:

Cline Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Hendrick Cline, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732
  • Joh Cline, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732
  • Johanis Cline, aged 44, landed in Pennsylvania in 1732
  • Mathias Cline, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732
  • John Fredk Cline, aged 20, arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1741

Cline Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Cline, aged 27, landed in Missouri in 1839
  • J Cline, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Elizabeth Cline, aged 23, landed in New York in 1854
  • Margaret Cline, aged 18, landed in New York in 1854
  • James Cline, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1855

Cline Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mrs. Elizabeth Cline, "Clyne" U.E (b. 1760) born in Germany from German Flatts, USA who settled in Carleton Island, Saint Lawrence River, Ontario [New York] c. 1779 she was widowed before making the journey to Canada with her 6 children, in 1781 she remarried John Nicholas Weitzel in Kingston, Ontario he died in 1796 leaving her a widow again as such moved the family to Stormont County
  • Mr. George Cline U.E who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783
  • Mr. John Cline U.E who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783
  • Mr. Adam Cline U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783


  • Isaac Monroe Cline (1861-1955), American chief meteorologist at the Galveston, Texas office of the US Weather Bureau from 1889 to 1901
  • Edward Cline (b. 1946), American novelist and essayist
  • Catherine Ann Cline (1927-2005), American historian of contemporary Britain
  • Patsy Cline (1932-1963), born Virginia Patterson Hensley, American country music singer, the first female solo artist inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame
  • Nels Cline (b. 1956), American guitarist and composer
  • Melanie Cline (b. 1975), American BMX racer
  • Martin Cline (b. 1934), American geneticist
  • Ernest Cline (b. 1972), American comedian and screenwriter
  • Sperry Cline DCM (1880-1964), Canadian frontier policeman and author in British Columbia
  • Eric Cline (b. 1955), Canadian politician


  • Cline-Kline Family by Paul G. Kline.
  • Descendants and Family of William Cline (1746-1853) by William Du Bois.

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  1. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Journeys German Immigration, Settlement and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  2. 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).
  3. 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).
  4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmachers Wappenbuch. München, Battenberg: 1975. Print.
  7. Nied, Edmund. Fraenkische Familiennamen urkundlich gesammelt und sprachlich gedeutet. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1933. Print.
  8. Jones, George F. The Germans of Colonial Georgia 1733-1783 Revised edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0806311614).
  9. Neubecker, Ottfried. Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon der bürgerlichen Geschlechter Deutschlands, Oesterreichs und der Schweiz. Battenberg, München: 1985. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Cline Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Cline 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 20 February 2016 at 05:17.

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