Karlsen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Schleswig-Holstein, which is the northernmost state in western Germany, is the homeland of the proud surname Karlsen. 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 Karlsen derived from the Old German personal name Karl, which is derived from the Middle Latin word "carolus," which refers to an adult male.

Early Origins of the Karlsen family

The surname Karlsen 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.

Early History of the Karlsen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Karlsen research. Another 135 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1717 and 1827 are included under the topic Early Karlsen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Karlsen Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Karlsen family (pre 1700)

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


New Zealand Karlsen migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Karlsen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Johanna Karlsen, (b. 1838), aged 34, Scandinavian maid servant travelling from Hamburg aboard the ship "Palmerston" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 12th December 1872 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Karlsen (post 1700) +

  • Kjell Oddvar Karlsen (1931-2020), Norwegian band leader, composer, arranger, jazz pianist and organist


  1. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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