Pfeifer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Medieval Austria is the noble birthplace of the family name Pfeifer. Austria, which was originally home to a Celtic people, was conquered by the Roman Empire in about 15 BC. Following the fall of Rome, Austria was repeatedly invaded by barbarian tribes, such as the Vandals, Visigoths, and Huns, who swept in from the east. During the 5th and 6th centuries, the Alemanni, Avars and Slavs settled Austria. The Avars were defeated in 785 by the Frankish emperor Charlemagne, who set up the East Mark, which later became known as the Österreich. Austria was ruled by the Babenburger dynasty until 1278, when they were succeeded by the Hapsburg dynasty, which ruled Austria until the 20th century.

Early Origins of the Pfeifer family

The surname Pfeifer was first found in Austria, where the name could be considered to make a great early contribution to the feudal society which became the backbone of early development of Europe. The name became prominent in local affairs and branched into many houses which played important roles in the national conflicts, each group seeking power and status in an ever changing territorial profile. Chronicles first mention Nickel Pfyfer of Liegnitz in 1372, and Hailman der Pfiffer in 1371.

Early History of the Pfeifer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pfeifer research. Another 164 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1566, 1590, 1713, 1721, 1797, and 1858 are included under the topic Early Pfeifer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pfeifer Spelling Variations

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 Pfeifer include Pfeiffer, Pfeifer, Pfeyffer, Pfeyfer and many more.

Early Notables of the Pfeifer family (pre 1700)

During this period prominent bearers of the name Pfeifer were Johann Babtist Pfeiffer (around 1721), who was administrator for the mines and forges of Achrain, and was knighted in 1721. Ida Laura Pfeiffer (1797-1858) was...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pfeifer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Pfeifer migration to the United States +

After the First World War, Austria became a republic. The Treaty of Versailles broke up the empire in 1919 and many of the Sudeten Germans were incorporated into the new nation of Czechoslovakia. In the 20th century, many Austrians migrated to other parts of Germany or Europe, as well as to North America. In the United States, the majority of settlers landed in Philadelphia, and moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Many German settlers also migrated to Canada, particularly Ontario and the Prairies. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Pfeifer were

Pfeifer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Frantz Joseph Pfeifer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1752 [1]
  • Christian Elize Pfeifer, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1772 [1]
  • Maria Elizabeth Pfeifer, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1772 [1]
  • Jean Pfeifer, who arrived in Charles Town, South Carolina in 1782 [1]
Pfeifer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Karoline Pfeifer, who arrived in America in 1839 [1]
  • Johanna Pfeifer, aged 22, who landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1847 [1]
  • Nicholas Pfeifer, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848 [1]
  • Joseph Pfeifer, aged 30, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1850 [1]
  • Karl Ludw Pfeifer, who landed in America in 1853 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Pfeifer (post 1700) +

  • Michael David Pfeifer (b. 1937), American Roman Catholic bishop emeritus of the Diocese of San Angelo
  • Louis Fred Pfeifer (1876-1949), American private in the United States Marine Corps who received the Medal of Honor
  • George Pfeifer (b. 1955), American college basketball coach, assistant coach at Montana State University
  • Carl Ferdinand Pfeifer (1915-2001), American officer in the United States Navy, aid to Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower, twice awarded the Legion of Merit
  • William "Will" Pfeifer (b. 1967), American comic book writer
  • Paul E. Pfeifer (b. 1942), American politician and jurist, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio (1993-), Member of the Ohio Senate (1977-1992)
  • Joseph Lawrence Pfeifer (1892-1974), American politician, United States Representative from New York (1935-1945) and (1945-1951)
  • Paul E. Pfeifer (b. 1942), American Republican politician, Member of Ohio State House of Representatives 15th District, 1971-76;Candidate in primary for Governor of Ohio, 1986; Candidate for Ohio State Attorney General, 1990; Justice of Ohio State Supreme Court, 1993- [2]
  • Joseph Lawrence Pfeifer (1892-1974), American Democrat politician, Physician; U.S. Representative from New York, 1935-51 (3rd District 1935-45, 8th District 1945-51) [2]
  • Charles W. Pfeifer, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Wisconsin, 1912 [2]
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Bismarck
  • Hans Pfeifer (1919-1941), German Mechanikersobergefreiter who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he died in the sinking [3]
  • Ewald Pfeifer (1916-1941), German Obermechanikersmaat (A) who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he died in the sinking [3]


  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. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, March 16) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  3. ^ Bismarck & Tirpitz Class - Crew List Bismarck. (Retrieved 2018, February 06). Retrieved from https://www.bismarck-class.dk/bismarck/crew/bismarck_crew.html#crew_details


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