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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: German, Jewish

The name Funk is a proud symbol of ancient Jewish culture. Before the late Middle Ages, people were known only by a single name. However, as the population increased and travelers set out on their journeys, it became necessary for people to adopt a second name to identify themselves. Jewish hereditary surnames were adopted from a variety of different sources. As a Jewish surname, the name Funk derives from a variety of sources. It is thought to have been an occupational name, deriving from the German word finch, which referred to the bird, and would have been given to someone who raised or sold finches. Another possible origin is from the female given name Finkle, which was a popular name in medieval Germany. It could also be an ornamental surname deriving from the Old German word finkelstein, which means diamond. Lastly, the name could be derived from the Yiddish word funk, which meant spark. The word funkenstein translates as sparkle stone, or diamond.


Spelling variations of this family name include: finkleman and others.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Funk Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Hans Funk, who arrived in America in 1731
  • Samuel Funk, who arrived in America in 1731
  • Hendrick Funk, aged 36, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738
  • Anna Funk, who settled in Philadelphia in 1738
  • Georg Funk, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1741
  • ...

Funk Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Frederick Funk, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1836
  • Bernhard Funk, who landed in North America in 1837
  • Valentin Funk, who landed in North America in 1837
  • Johannes Funk, who arrived in North America in 1838
  • Adam Funk, who landed in Mississippi in 1841
  • ...

Funk Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Anganetha Krahn and Isaak Funk, who were recorded to be living in Québec in 1874
  • Abraham Funk, who arrived in Manitoba in 1874
  • John Funk, who landed in Manitoba in 1874
  • Peter Funk, who landed in Manitoba in 1874
  • Peter Funk, who arrived in Manitoba in 1874
  • ...

  • Brigadier-General Arnold John Funk (1895-1980), American Commandant of Camp Edwards (1952)
  • Corporal Jesse Nathaniel Funk (1888-1933), United States Army soldier and a recipient of the Medal of Honor
  • Isaac Kauffman Funk (1839-1912), American publisher and co-founder of Funk & Wagnalls Co. in 1891 which was best known for its Standard Dictionary of the English Language (1893)
  • Joseph Funk (1778-1862), pioneer American music teacher and publisher
  • Dory Funk (1919-1973), American professional wrestler
  • Christian Funk (1731-1811), American Mennonite bishop and author
  • Leonard A Funk (1916-1992), highly decorated American soldier awarded both the Medal of Honor and the Croix de Guerre during WWII
  • Wes Funk (1968-2015), Canadian writer based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • Casimir Funk (1884-1967), Polish biochemist who discovered vitamins in 1912

Funk Historic Events

RMS Titanic

  • Miss Annie Clemmer Funk (d. 1912), aged 38, Indian Second Class passenger from Janjgir-Champa, India who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking

  • Funk Forebears by Norma J. Kinney.
  • A Tree Grows in Funks Grove: A History of the Funk-Stubblefield Families of McLean County, Illinois by Stephen C. Funk.

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    Other References

    1. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
    2. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    3. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
    4. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
    5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
    6. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
    7. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
    8. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
    9. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
    10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
    11. ...

    The Funk Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Funk 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 13 October 2015 at 16:52.

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