Kruger Surname Genealogy

origins are German. Two derivations are given:

  • The first is from the German krug,
    meaning an inn or tavern, and kruger
    or kroger would describe a
    host or innkeeper. The name occurs mainly in northern Germany.
  • The second is from kruog,
    meaning jug or pot. Kruger here was an occupational name for a
    maker or seller of mugs, pitchers and jugs. This explanation
    seems to apply to the Krugers in southern Germany.

There are more Krugers in northern than in southern Germany; thus
probably more Krugers derived from krug
than from kruog.

German spellings were Kruger and Kroger, each with an umlaut.
These became Kruger
and Krueger
in their travels to English-speaking
Some Krugers came from Poland as Kruger can be a Jewish name.

Resources on

Kruger Ancestry

Early references to the Kruger surname in Germany were Lotze Crugir of
Kassel (in northern Hesse) in 1351 and Henecke Krogher of Hanover in
1420. Their numbers today include:

  • 120,000 Kruegers. These Kruegers are mainly to be found in
    northern Germany, with a concentration in Mecklenburg west and
    Brandenburg east.
  • and 20,000 Kroegers. The Kroegers turn up in
    Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg along the western side of Germany,
    extending into Holland.

Many of the 19th century
emigrants were recorded as coming from Prussia.

South Africa. The Kruger name has been long-standing and
numerous in South Africa and is seen as Afrikaan. It
is the 15th most common surname in the
country today, most found in the Transvaal (Gauteng today).

is a famous name in South African history. His
origins were
German with French Huguenot elements, not Dutch. As a young boy,
he trekked with
other Afrikaans to Natal, the Orange Free State and Transvaal and later
such a reputation for cleverness and coolness under pressure that he
their leader and led them against the British in the Boer War of
in 1899-1902. The memory of Paul Kruger lives on with the Kruger
National Park,
the town of Krugersdorp, and the Krugerrand gold coin.

More recent Krugers have
been Jimmy Kruger, apartheid Minister of Justice in the 1970’s; the
poet and
playwright A.R. Krueger; and Tom Kruger and his son Nico, active
Namakwa Diamonds in South African diamond production

America. The Kruger
immigrants to America in the 19th
century headed mainly to the US
Midwest. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa took large numbers of
them as many became farmers there. One website in fact is devoted
to the numerous Krugers
of Great Lake county, Wisconsin

Among the Kruger/Krueger immigrants at that time were:

  • Martin and Magdalena Krueger, who had grown up on the
    German/Polish border and come to America in the late
    1840’s. They settled in Columbia county, Wisconsin.
    However, Martin died soon afterwards and it was his brother who was
    responsible for the raising of their two daughters.
  • Walter Kruger, who came to America from Prussia in 1850 and
    settled to farm in Clayton county, Iowa.
  • Ernest Krueger, also from Prussia, who came to farm in Jones
    county, Iowa in 1856. His son Charles Krueger later was known
    for his pedigree horses.
  • George and Sophia Kruger, who had come to Detroit from
    Mecklenburg in 1860. Their son Henry prospered as a farmer in St.
    Clair county, Michigan, raising cattle, horses, and pigs.
  • Fred Kruger, who arrived with his father Lewis in 1866 and
    settled in Marinette, Wisconsin. He later became a successful
    grocer and fishmonger in St. Ignace.
  • Ludvig Krueger, a cabinet maker from Mecklenburg who immigrated
    in the 1880’s and settled in the Sturgis area of Michigan. The
    “e” in Krueger was later dropped after a family dispute.
  • and Anna Krueger, who – after her husband’s death – migrated with
    her three children to Madison, Indiana in 1889. One of her sons,
    Walter, rose to be a general in the US Army during World War Two.

Canada. Joseph
Kruger was a struggling paper merchant in New York in the early
1900’s. Looking for inspiration, he headed north to Montreal
where he established a wholesale paper business. At the time of
his death in 1927, the company had just five employees. It was
his two sons, Gene and Bernard, who expanded Kruger Inc. into the
Canadian paper products giant that it is today. It remains

“The litigous era of the Kruger story
began in 1975 when Gene’s son Joseph II, now the company’s CEO, took
over a Panamanian affiliate, cutting Bernard and his children out of
the profits. The protracted dispute only settled down in 1993
when Joseph paid out settlements totalling $1.36 million.”

Leonard Krueger
came to Canada with his family in the early 1900’s and settled in
southern Manitoba. He is known today for the scholarships he has
bestowed to needy students.

JCA Kruger was a leader of the German
community in western Victoria. He arrived to farm in Hochkirch in
1855 and built the organ for the Lutheran church there. The
Kruger Family Committee published a booklet Johann Carl August Kruger and His
Descendants in Australia
in 1981.

There were two Carl Krugers who came to Queensland:

  • Carl
    (subsequently Charles) Kruger arrived, aged 16, in Brisbane in 1865 and
    followed his father into the butcher’s business. He later settled
    in Mayborough and became a cattle drover.
  • another Carl Kruger
    came in the 1890’s and set up an axe-handle manufacturing
    business which provedto be very successful. Two of his
    sons, Ted and
    Percy, used their inheritance to take up horse-breeding, acquiring the Lyndhurst
    stud farm
    in 1956.

Daniel Kruger grew up in South Africa but emigrated to Australia in the
early 1900’s. During World War One he enlisted in the
Australian army and fought with them on the Western Front. He was
captured by the Germans but later released. There, however, the
trail on him ends.

Kruger Miscellany

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

Select Kruger Names

Gottfried Krueger founded the
Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company in Newark, New Jersey in 1858.
In 1935 Krueger beer became the first beer to be produced in cans.
Paul Kruger was President of
the free Boer Republic of the Transvaal from 1881 to 1902 and led his
people against the British during the Boer War.
was an American soldier of German descent from Indiana,
the first to rise from private to general in the US Army.
Otto Kruger was an American
screen actor whose long career ran from 1915 to the late 1950’s.
He was a grandnephew of South African President Paul Kruger.
Jimmy Kruger, born in Wales
and adopted by Afrikaan parents, was South Africa’s Minister of Justice
in the 1970’s during the apartheid years.

Select Krugers

  • 2,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in London)
  • 18,000 in America (most numerous
    in Wisconsin)
  • 6,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia).



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