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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

The surname Kirschner emerged in the German state of Silesia. 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. Many people, such as the Kirschner family, adopted the name of their feudal occupation as their surname. However, an occupational name did not become a hereditary surname until the office or type of employment became hereditary. There are two occupations which gave rise to this name. The first is that of a church sexton, which is the meaning of the German word "kirchenære." The other occupation is that of a furrier and, in this case, the name is derived from the word "kuerschner."


The surname Kirschner was first found in Silesia, where the family was anciently associated with the political and religious conflicts of the area. They declared allegiances to many nobles and princes of early history, lending their influence in struggles for power and status within the region. The family founded numerous branches, many of which acquired manors and estates in surrounding regions, where they contributed to the prosperity of their society. The name probably derives from "Kuersch," meaning pelt, and "Kuerschner" which refers to a furrier. It is not to be confused with "Kirsch," which means cherry. Individual bearers of the name first mentioned in ancient chronicles include Ortlip Hermelin der Kuersener, who lived in Breslau, Silesia around 1360.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Kirschner, Kirschener, Kirscher, Kirschen, Kirsher, Kirshner, Kirshener, Kerschner, Kerscher, Kersher, Cirschner, Cirschener, Cirscher, Cirsher, Cirshner, Cirshener, Kuersch, Kuersener, Kursch, Kuerschner, Kurschner, Kuerssner and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirschner research. Another 273 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1800 and 1854 are included under the topic Early Kirschner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kirschner Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Johan Georg Kirschner came to Philadelphia in 1731
  • Joh Georg Kirschner, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1731
  • Johannes Kirschner, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1731
  • Martin Kirschner, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1742

Kirschner Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Karl J Kirschner, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847
  • Johan Kirschner, aged 19, landed in New York, NY in 1850
  • Adolph Kirschner, who landed in Texas in 1850-1906
  • Henriette Kirschner settled in Texas in 1854
  • Elis Philippine Kirschner, who arrived in America in 1863
  • ...

  • Peter J. Kirschner, American politician, Mayor of St. Joseph, Missouri, 1898
  • Charles E. Kirschner, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Toledo, Ohio, 1933-38 (acting, 1933-34)
  • Soozie Kirschner (b. 1957), birth name of Soozie Tyrell, an American violinist and vocalist, most known for her work with Bruce Springsteen in the E Street Band
  • Alec Kirschner (b. 1986), American professional ice hockey player
  • Ann Kirschner, American academic, entrepreneur, founder of
  • Diana Adile Kirschner, American psychologist and author, best known as the coauthor of Comprehensive Family Therapy
  • David Kirschner (b. 1955), American two-time Primetime Emmy Award winning film and television producer, best known for his 1986 animated feature An American Tail
  • Professor Marc W. Kirschner (b. 1945), American cell biologist, founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School
  • Ludwig Kirschner (1904-1945), Bavarian Generalmajor in the Wehrmacht during World War II, recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
  • Herbert Kirschner (1925-2010), German sprint canoer who competed at the 1956 Summer Olympics
  • ...

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    Other References

    1. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
    2. Neubecker, Ottfried. Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon der bürgerlichen Geschlechter Deutschlands, Oesterreichs und der Schweiz. Battenberg, München: 1985. Print.
    3. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
    4. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Journeys German Immigration, Settlement and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
    5. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. Print. (ISBN 978-0806303024).
    6. Kneschke, Dr. Ernest Heinrich. Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon 9 Volumes New General German Aristocracy Lexicon. Leipzig: Friedrich Voigt, 1859. Print.
    7. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
    8. Strassburger, Ralph B. Pennsylvania German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
    9. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
    10. Bahlow, Hans. Mecklenburgisches Namenbüchlein Ein Führer durch Mecklenburgs Familiennamen. Rostock: Carl Hinstorffs Verlag, 1932. Print.
    11. ...

    The Kirschner Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Kirschner 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 6 October 2015 at 13:35.

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