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

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

The surname Kessler is a metonymic surname; it is derived from the principle object associated with the occupation of the original holder. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the German word "kezzel," which in turn comes from the Old German word "kezzil," which means "kettle" or "cauldron."


Spelling variations of this family name include: Kessler, Kessller, Kesler, Kesller, Kesseler, Kesseller, Keseler, Keseller, Kaessler, Kaesler, Kaeseler, Kaesseler, Cessler, Cessller, Cesler, Cesller, Cesseler, Cesseller, Ceseler, Ceseller, Caessler, Caesler, Caeseler and many more.

First found in Hessen and the Rhineland, where the family became noted for its many branches within the region, each house acquiring a status and influence which was sought by the princes of the region. Chronicles first mention Erbo Kesseler of Strasbourg in 1261, and Hans Kesseler of Breslau, Silesia, in 1384.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kessler research. Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1317, 1571, 1765, and 1803 are included under the topic Early Kessler History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kessler Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kessler Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Johannes Kessler, who arrived in New York City between 1709-10
  • Maria and Nicol Kessler arrived in New York between 1709-10
  • Frans Niklaas Kessler, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • Johann Kessler, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1709
  • Johannes Kessler, who landed in New York, NY in 1710

Kessler Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Catharina Kessler, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Andreas Kessler, aged 42, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1805
  • Joseph Kessler, who landed in Ohio in 1824
  • Karl Kessler, who arrived in North America in 1827
  • Philip Baltzer Kessler, who landed in Maryland in 1828


  • Mr. George A. Kessler, American 1st Class Passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping in a collapsible
  • Major-General Alfred August Jr. Kessler (1898-1956), American Commanding General 4th Air Force (1952-1955)
  • David Kessler (b. 1951), American commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration in 1990, appointed by President George Bush and reappointed again in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, and in 1997 he became dean of the Yale University School of Medicine
  • Karl G Kessler (1919-1997), American physicist and president of the Optical Society of America
  • Glenn Kessler (b. 1970), American screenwriter and television producer
  • Private First Class Patrick L Kessler (1922-1944), American Army soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
  • Harry Graf Kessler (1868-1937), Anglo-German count, diplomat, writer, and patron of modern art


  • Abraham Kesler (also Kessler), 1809-1891 by Richard W. Tobin.

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  1. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  2. Oswald, G. Lexicon der Heraldik. Leipzig: 1984. Print.
  3. Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann. Deutches Namenbuch. Stuttgart: Verlag von Adolf Bonz & Comp, 1928. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
  8. 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).
  9. Jones, George F. The Germans of Colonial Georgia 1733-1783 Revised edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0806311614).
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The Kessler Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kessler 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 21 July 2015 at 13:41.

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