Klinger Surname Genealogy

Klingler is a Germanic surname found in southern Germany, Austria and
Switzerland primarily. It is most likely
occupational in origin, describing someone who made and sold blades or
swords. The root here is klinge
meaning “metal blade” or “sword,” deriving probably from klingen
meaning “to ring or clatter.”
Klinger can also be Jewish. Some have
suggested that the name here might
describe a junk dealer, from the German klunker
meaning “junk.” Klinger could alternatively be a purely
ornamental name without any specific meaning.

Klinger Resources on

Klinger Ancestry

German Klingers
came from SW Germany.
de Klingere of
Breisgau in present-day Baden-Wurttemberg was recorded around the year
1200. The name extended into
Hesse. The Klinger Legend was said to have
happened in the Distelhausen district of southern Hesse sometime in the
15th century. Klingers were recorded nearby at
Pfaffen Beerfurth where they were swordsmiths and later mill

Friedrich Maximilian von Klinger, born
in Frankfurt, was
a late 18th century
and novelist
. A
contemporary of Goethe
play Sturm
und Drang
gave name to the Sturm und Drang

Klinger and Klingler numbers today are around 16,000 in Germany,
Austria, and 1-2,000 in Switzerland. Klinger is
more common in Germany and Austria, Klingler in
Switzerland. One Klingler family in Switzerland dates from about
the year 1500 in St. Gallen.

America. Early Klingers and Klinglers entered via

Pennsylvania. Philip
Klinger and his brother Alexander from Pfaffen Beerfurth left Germany
on the Neptune
and arrived in Philadelphia in
1751, Philip’s wife Anna dying during the crossing or shortly
They settled initially in Reading, Pennsylvania where
Alexander, a carpenter, remained. Some later
Klingers here adopted the Clinger spelling.

Sometime in the
1770’s Philip and his second wife Eva migrated with other German
pioneers to frontier land in the
Mohantango mountains. They made their home in what came to be
known as Klingerstown.
Klingers have remained there as farmers and mill owners. The
Klinger Lumber Company operates there today.

Meanwhile Theobald
from Weingarten in Germany, close by the
border with Switzerland, had arrived in Philadelphia on the Friendship in 1738. He
settled in Heidelberg township, Berks county. His son John,
sometimes Clingler, fought in the Revolutionary War and moved to
Clermont county, Ohio. Later Klinglers were to be found in
Kentucky and Indiana.

The German immigrant Karl Christoff Klinger had settled in
Fredericksburg, Lebanon county. His son Henry migrated to
Hocking county, Ohio in the early 1800’s. David Klinger, born there in
1846, moved to western Kansas. Christian Klinger, a shoemaker,
and his wife Judith came to Pennsylvania around 1817. They
eventually settled in Wooster, Ohio.

Later Arrivals.
Georg Heinrich Klinger departed Hesse for America in 1830 and married
and settled down in Illinois. In 1852 they uprooted themselves to
Texas, first to Austin and then to Llano City where the spelling
changed to Clinger. Their descendants have held regular reunions.

August Klinger arrived in Wisconsin from Prussia in the 1880’s.
His son William, born there, became one of the leading builders of NW

The Klingers were Jewish immigrants in London
from Poland in the 1910’s. Their son Michael Klinger started off in
London’s East End markets and became a film producer.

Klinger Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Klinger Names

a pioneer settler in
the Mahantongo mountains of western Pennsylvania in the 1770’s.

, the son of Polish Jewish immigrants in London, became a
successful British film
producer and distributor

Select Klingers Today

  • 300 in the UK (most numerous
    in London)
  • 5,500 in America (most numerous in Pennsylvania)
  • 600 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)



Click here for return to front page

Leave a Reply