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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

The German state of Silesia is the glorious birthplace of the distinguished surname Kirchner. In the medieval era, Germany was fragmented and inhabited by numerous Barbarian tribes, who fought amongst themselves for control of the land. The ancient dukedom of Silesia derived its name from the Germanic tribe named the Silingers, who occupied Silesia between the 2nd and the 6th centuries.


The surname Kirchner was first found in Silesia, where the family became noted for its many branches within the region, many houses acquiring a status and influence which rivaled that of the landed aristocracy. In their later history some branches were elevated to the ranks of nobility as they distinguished themselves through their contributions to the social, political, and economic developments of the nation. The mediaeval form of the name, "Kirchherr," meant literally "priest" or "servant of the church." The word "Kirchner" is still used in this way today in certain parts of Thuringia.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Kirchner, Circhner, Kirchener, Kerchner, Cerchner, Kirckner, Kerkner, Kerckner, Kercher, Kirchen, Kircher and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirchner research. Another 343 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1707, 1592, 1657, 1731, 1601 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Kirchner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Notables of the period with the surname Kirchner were Athanasius Kircher (1601-1680), known as Father Kircher, who was a Jesuit priest famous across Europe for his great...

Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kirchner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kirchner Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Georg Kirchner, who came to New York State in 1710
  • Johannes Kirchner arrived in Philadelphia in 1731
  • Andreas Kirchner, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1749
  • Joh Georg Kirchner, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1751
  • Agnes Kirchner, who landed in America in 1752
  • ...

Kirchner Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Christopher Kirchner, who arrived in North America in 1832-1849
  • Christian Kirchner, who landed in Galveston, Tex in 1846
  • Carl Joseph Kirchner, who arrived in Ohio in 1857
  • Friedrich Franz Kirchner, who arrived in America in 1859
  • Adam Kirchner, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1859
  • ...

Kirchner Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • August R Kirchner, who landed in Alabama in 1913

Kirchner Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Gottlieb Kirchner, a tailor, arrived in South Australia in 1848 aboard the ship "Alfred"
  • John Chr Kirchner, aged 30, arrived in South Australia in 1848 aboard the ship "Alfred"

  • Otto Kirchner (1846-1920), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1876; Michigan State Attorney General, 1877-80
  • Herman E. Kirchner, American Republican politician, Candidate for West Virginia State House of Delegates from Mercer County, 1968
  • Gerri Kirchner, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 2008
  • George E. Kirchner, American politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Bethel, 1912
  • Michael Kirchner (b. 1957), American former professional wrestler, known as Corporal Kirchner in the WWF
  • Leon Kirchner (b. 1919), American composer and pianist. He studied with Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Toch, and Klemperer, and later taught at Harvard
  • Mark Kirchner (b. 1970), German former biathlete, first German to become Olympic champion in 1992
  • Nestor Kirchner (1950-2010), former Argentine President (2003-2007)
  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938), sculptor, draughtsman, and painter and co-founder of the artist's group "Bruecke"

  • The Ancestors and Descendants of Herman Buechele and Mary Rehklau and Michael Kirchner by Ruth Buchele Doerr.

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    Other References

    1. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
    2. Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann. Deutches Namenbuch. Stuttgart: Verlag von Adolf Bonz & Comp, 1928. Print.
    3. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
    4. Gritzner, M. Handbuch der heraldischen Terminologie in zwölf Zungen. Nürnberg: 1890. Print.
    5. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
    6. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmachers Wappenbuch. München, Battenberg: 1975. Print.
    7. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
    8. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
    9. 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).
    10. Kapff, Rudolf. Schwäbische Geschlechtsnamen. Stuttgart: Verlag Silberburg, 1927. Print.
    11. ...

    The Kirchner Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Kirchner 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 5 May 2016 at 20:37.

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