Kirshner History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Kirshner 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 Kirshner 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."

Early Origins of the Kirshner family

The surname Kirshner 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.

Early History of the Kirshner family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirshner research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1800 and 1854 are included under the topic Early Kirshner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kirshner Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Kirshner family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Kirshner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Kirshner migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kirshner Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Philip Kirshner, who arrived in the New World at the age of 28 in 1709 with his wife, daughter, and two sons
  • John Georg Kirshner, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1748 [1]
  • J Georg Kirshner, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1750 [1]
  • John Kirshner, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1773 [1]
Kirshner Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry Kirshner, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1879 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Kirshner (post 1700) +

  • Rebecca Kirshner, American co-executive producer on the series Gilmore Girls and writer on Freaks and Geeks, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Las Vegas, daughter of Robert Kirshner
  • Lev Kirshner (b. 1969), American head coach for the men's soccer team San Diego State University
  • Donald Clark "Don" Kirshner (1934-2011), American song publisher and rock producer known as The Man With the Golden Ear [2]
  • Robert Kirshner (b. 1949), Clowes Professor of Science in the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University [3]
  • David Kirshner (b. 1960), American film and television producer
  • Mia Kirshner (b. 1975), Canadian actress and social activist [4]


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Don Kirshner. (Retrieved 2011, January 19) Don Kirshner. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Kirshner
  3. ^ Robert Kirshner. (Retrieved 2011, January 19) Robert Kirshner. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Kirshner
  4. ^ Mia Kirshner. (Retrieved 2011, January 19) Mia Kirshner. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mia_Kirshner


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