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

Origins Available: German, Jewish

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

From the historical and enchanting region of Austria emerged a multitude of noble families, including the distinguished Fink family. Originally, the Austrian people were known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames were adopted in Austria is extremely interesting. Surnames evolved during the Middle Ages when people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Often they adopted names that were derived from nicknames. Nickname surnames were derived from an "eke-name," or added name. They usually reflected the physical characteristics or attributes of the first person that used the name. The name Fink is a nickname type of surname for a cheerful person who sings songs. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the German word fink, which means finch, which is a type of small bird.


In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Fink include Finck, Fincke, Finckl (Bavaria), Finncke, Fink, Finke, Finkl, Finke and many more.

First found in Austria, where the name was closely identified in early mediaeval times with the feudal society which would become prominent throughout European history. The name would later emerge as a noble family with great influence, having many distinguished branches, and become noted for its involvement in social, economic and political affairs.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fink research. Another 252 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1445, 1527, 1718, 1766, 1783, 1792, 1820, and 1846 are included under the topic Early Fink History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fink Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


After the First World War, Austria became a republic. The Treaty of Versailles broke up the empire in 1919 and many of the Sudeten Germans were incorporated into the new nation of Czechoslovakia. In the 20th century, many Austrians 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 Ontario and the Prairies. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Fink were

Fink Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Johan Willem Fink, who landed in New York in 1709
  • Kasper Fink, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • Maria Fink, who arrived in New York, NY in 1709
  • Elisabetha Fink, who arrived in America in 1733
  • Johan Nickell Fink, aged 29, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738

Fink Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Gottfried Fink, aged 23, landed in America in 1803
  • Joh Fink, who arrived in North America in 1832
  • Martin Fink, who landed in North America in 1832
  • John P Fink, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1834
  • John Fink, who landed in Maryland in 1836

Fink Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Anna Fink, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1757
  • Catherina Fink, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1757
  • Christian Fink, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1757
  • Friederick Fink, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1757
  • Margereta Fink, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1757


  • Elizabeth Fink (1945-2015), American civil rights and criminal defense attorney, known for her lawsuits concerning the Attica Prison riots
  • Stanley Fink (1936-1997), American lawyer and politician
  • Orenda Fink (b. 1975), American musician
  • John Fink (b. 1940), American actor
  • Aaron J. Fink (d. 1990), American urologist
  • Albert Fink (1827-1897), German civil engineer noted for the "Fink truss"
  • Bernarda Fink (b. 1955), Argentine mezzo-soprano
  • Theodore Fink (1855-1942), Australian politician, newspaper proprietor and educationist
  • Cristina Fink (b. 1964), Mexican Olympic high jumper


  • Our Family Chronicle: Celebrating the 90th Birthday of Wilma Irene Van Horn Mattson Fink by Charyl Mattson.

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  1. Garland, Mary and Henry Garland Editions. Oxford Companion To German Literature 3rd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print. (ISBN 0198158963).
  2. Bahlow, Hans. Mecklenburgisches Namenbüchlein Ein Führer durch Mecklenburgs Familiennamen. Rostock: Carl Hinstorffs Verlag, 1932. Print.
  3. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
  4. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
  5. Strassburger, Ralph B. German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Kneschke, Dr. Ernest Heinrich. Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon 9 Volumes New General German Aristocracy Lexicon. Leipzig: Friedrich Voigt, 1859. Print.
  10. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
  11. ...

The Fink Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Fink 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 29 September 2015 at 08:50.

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