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

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

The name Krafft is derived from the Old German word "craft," which means "strong" or "courageous." In the early Middle Ages, Krafft was a popular first name among knights because it referred to strength. In the early 14th century, a number of branches in southern Germany adopted Kraft or Craft as a family name.


One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Krafft include Kraft, Krafft, Kraftt, Krafte, Kraffte, Krafter, Kraften, Kraefte, Kraeft, Kreft, Krefte, Craft, Crafft, Crafte, Craffte, Craeft and many more.

First found in Bavaria, 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 an important role in the local political conflicts which forged the nation. In the early Middle Ages, the name was a popular first name taken on by knights. In the early 14th century, a number of branches in southern Germany developed around Kraft or Craft as a family name. Individual bearers of this name first mentioned in ancient chronicles include the famous minstrel Count Kraft von Toggenburg from the Thurgau region, and Hans Kraft of Wuerzburg (c.1409).


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Krafft research. Another 384 words(27 lines of text) covering the years 1298, 1429, 1507, 1552, 1679, 1749, 1770, 1778, 1805, 1813, 1820, and 1840 are included under the topic Early Krafft History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 80 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Krafft Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


German settlers were among the most common to come to North America between the mid-17th and mid-20th centuries. Poverty and religious persecution drove many Bavarians to make this long trek. tenant farmers were also enticed by the prospect of owning land. From east to west, these German immigrants populated the United States, settling in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Ontario and the prairie provinces of Canada also provided homes to many. Early settlers bearing the Krafft surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Krafft Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Gerlach Krafft, who landed in New York in 1709-1710
  • Andreas Krafft landed in Philadelphia in 1728
  • Andries Krafft, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1728
  • Fredrk Krafft, aged 21, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1737
  • Johan Friederich Krafft, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1737

Krafft Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Krafft, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1818
  • George Krafft, who landed in New York, NY in 1825
  • Theadore Krafft, who landed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1833
  • Theodore I Krafft, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1838
  • William Krafft, who landed in St Clair County, III in 1847

Krafft Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Franz Krafft came to Canada with the United Empire Loyalists in 1783


  • Laura Krafft, American comedic writer and actress, best known for her work with Second City and as a former staff writer for The Colbert Report
  • Friedrich Krafft (1852-1923), German chemist
  • Johann Peter Krafft (1780-1856), German painter
  • Wolfgang Ludwig Krafft (1743-1814), German astronomer and physicist, namesake of the lunar crater Krafft
  • Barbara Krafft (1764-1825), Austrian painter
  • Hugues Krafft (1853-1935), French photographer
  • Karl Ernst Krafft (1900-1945), Swiss astrologer


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  1. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  2. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  3. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  4. Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann. Deutches Namenbuch. Stuttgart: Verlag von Adolf Bonz & Comp, 1928. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Garland, Mary and Henry Garland Editions. Oxford Companion To German Literature 3rd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print. (ISBN 0198158963).
  8. Kneschke, Dr. Ernest Heinrich. Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon 9 Volumes New General German Aristocracy Lexicon. Leipzig: Friedrich Voigt, 1859. Print.
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The Krafft Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Krafft 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 19 March 2012 at 08:54.

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