The name Kreft is derived from the Old German word "craft," which means "strong" or "courageous." In the early Middle Ages, Kreft 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 Kreft family
The surname Kreft 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 Kreft family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kreft 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 Kreft History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kreft Spelling Variations
Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia
. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations
of Kreft include Kraft, Krafft, Kraftt, Krafte, Kraffte, Krafter, Kraften, Kraefte, Kraeft, Kreft, Krefte, Craft, Crafft, Crafte, Craffte, Craeft and many more.
Early Notables of the Kreft family (pre 1700)
Prominent among members of the name Kreft 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 Kreft Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kreft 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 provinces. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were:
Kreft Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- August Kreft, who landed in Illinois in 1856 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)
Contemporary Notables of the name Kreft (post 1700)
- Lev Kreft (b. 1951), Slovenian politician, Member of the Parliament, editor, philosopher and sociologist
- Bratko Kreft (1905-1996), Slovenian playwright, writer, literary and director, three-time recipient of the Prešeren Award