The name Krefft is derived from the Old German word "craft," which means "strong" or "courageous." In the early Middle Ages, Krefft 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.
Early Origins of the Krefft family
The surname Krefft was 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).
Early History of the Krefft family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Krefft 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 Krefft History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Krefft Spelling Variations
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 Krefft include Kraft, Krafft, Kraftt, Krafte, Kraffte, Krafter, Kraften, Kraefte, Kraeft, Kreft, Krefte, Craft, Crafft, Crafte, Craffte, Craeft and many more.
Early Notables of the Krefft family (pre 1700)
Prominent among members of the name Krefft in this period include Adam Krafft (Kraft) (1429-1507), who was a famous Nuremberg sculptor. Some of his work is in the vestry of St. Lawrence cathedral, Nuremberg. Anton Kraft (1749-1820) was a composer and... Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Krefft Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Krefft family to the New World and Oceana
The great European flow of migration to North America, which began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century, was particularly attractive to those from Bavaria
who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. For many Bavarian tenant
farmers, the chance to own their own land was a major incentive. So the widespread colonization of the United States began in 1650, when many immigrants from Germany
settled in pockets in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. In Canada, German settlement centered in Ontario and the prairie Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were:
Krefft Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Ch R J Krefft, who landed in New York in 1850 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
Krefft Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Hugo Krefft, aged 23, who emigrated to the United States from Chemnitz, Germany, in 1907
- Paul Krefft, aged 19, who landed in America from Huamburg, Germany, in 1909
- Hermann Krefft, aged 24, who landed in America from Muenchen, Germany, in 1924
Contemporary Notables of the name Krefft (post 1700)
- Johann Ludwig "Louis" Gerard Krefft (1830-1881), German-born, Australian zoologist and palaeontologist