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The name Klaassen was first used by the people of the German province of Westphalia, which lay in the area between the Rhine and Wesser rivers. It is a patronymic name, derived from the given name of the father of the original bearer. Along with metronymic names, which come from the name of the mother of the bearer, patronymics were one of the most popular early German name types. Klaassen was derived from the baptismal name Clausen, which is a form of the name Nicholas. The given name Nicholas, which means people's victory, was popular among Christians throughout Europe in the Middle Ages.

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The surname Klaassen was first found in Westphalia, where the family made a considerable contribution to the feudal society which shaped modern Europe. The family branched into several houses, all of which played important roles in the local political conflicts which forged the nation.

In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Klaassen include Klassen, Klasse, Klass, Klasen, Klase, Klas, Classen, Classe, Class, Clasen, Clase, Clas, Klasing, Klaasen, Klaasen, Claasen, Klaase, Claase, Klaas and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Klaassen research. Another 351 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1676, 1786, 1850, 1622 and 1678 are included under the topic Early Klaassen History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Klaassen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many Germans, emigration to North America was an inviting alternative to the trials of life in the old country. From the mid-17th into the present century, thousands of Germans migrated across the Atlantic. They capitalized on the chance to escape poverty and persecution, and to own their own land. After 1650, Germans settled throughout the states of Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many also landed in Canada, settling in Ontario or father west on the rich land of the prairies. Among them:

Klaassen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Klaas Klaassen, aged 42, landed in New York, NY in 1848
  • David Klaassen, aged 21, arrived in New York, NY in 1878
  • Elisabeth Klaassen, aged 49, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1879
  • Maria Klaassen, aged 15, arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1879
  • Anna Klaassen, aged 20, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1879


Klaassen Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Abraham Klaassen, who landed in Manitoba in 1878
  • Johan Klaassen, who landed in Manitoba in 1878
  • Martin Klaassen, who arrived in Manitoba in 1878

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  • Grace Klaassen, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kansas, 2012


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  1. 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).
  2. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
  3. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
  4. Strassburger, Ralph B. German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  5. Preuss, Otto. Die Lippischen Familiennamen mit Berücksichtigung der Ortsnamen. Detmold: Meyer'sche Hofbuchh, 1887. Print.
  6. Bahlow, Hans. Mecklenburgisches Namenbüchlein Ein Führer durch Mecklenburgs Familiennamen. Rostock: Carl Hinstorffs Verlag, 1932. Print.
  7. Gritzner, M. Handbuch der heraldischen Terminologie in zwölf Zungen. Nürnberg: 1890. Print.
  8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  9. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The Klaassen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Klaassen 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 26 January 2016 at 12:11.

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