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Family History

Origins of the Surname

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Family history

Family history


Family History



     Anna Barbara Klein, my 6th great-grandmother, was born at the town of Kirchardt in 1695.  In 1715 she married Johan Georg Barth, native of Teifenbach, a nearby village.   Anna Barbara bore at least eight children during her marriage. In addition to the five known children it is believed that 3 additional daughters were born although their names are not known at this time.  Four of the known off-spring were born in Germany between 1719-1724.  It is through one of these children, a daughter, named Anna Elizabeth Barth, that my lineage continued.

      Johan Georg and Anna Barbara Barth along with their children emigrated to America sometime around 1724, on the same ship as the Weidler family from Kirchardt, Germany.  It appears that upon arrival in the “New World” they "americanized" their name to Bard.   The family soon settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  It was here that another child was born in 1736.  Anna Barbara (Klein) Barth lived the remainder of her days in Pennsylvania and in 1762 at the age of 67 years. 


Origins of the surname


Origins of the Surname

Research into the history of this Klein family line indicates that the meaning and history of this surname is most likely linked to that area of Europe where the German* language is commonly spoken.   


Meaning of the Name

The German surname of Klein originated from the Middle High German klein meaning ‘small’.  Thus this was a nickname for a person of small stature.  Klein is also often found as a distinguishing name for a junior male, usually a son, in names such as Kleinhans and Kleinpeter.


History of the Name

First found in the Rhineland, where the Klein name came from humble beginnings but gained a significant reputation for its contribution to the emerging mediaeval society. Klein is the most recognized of all German surnames name is common and widespread throughout central and eastern Europe.  The first known recording of the surname anywhere in the world is probably that of Herolt der Kleine from Wurzburg, Germany, in the charters of that city for the year 1185.   Early examples taken from the authentic German charters and registers of the period, confirm its popularity. These include Walthem der Kleine of Kassel in the year 1209, Kounrad Claineman of Oberschwaben in 1283, Conrad Klainer of Friedingen in 1424, and Johan Klainhain of Konstanz in 1469.


Early Immigrants to North America

During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries hundreds of thousands of Europeans made the perilous ocean voyage to North America.  For many it was an escape from economic hardship and religious persecution.  For most it was an opportunity for to start over, own their own land, and make a better future for their descendents. Immigration records show a number of people bearing the name of Klein, or one of its variants, as arriving in North America between the 17th and 20th centuries.  Some of these immigrants were: Uldrich Klein, who was the first Klein to come to America: he arrived in New York City in 1641 with his wife Afje Pieters.  A wave of Kleins then followed in the great migration of Germans to Pennsylvania between 1720 and 1775.


 * German Surname Meanings & Origins

 Many German names have their roots in the Germanic middle ages. The process of forming family names began around the year 1100 and extended through 1600. All social classes and demographic strata aided in the development of names. First Names (Rufnamen) identified specific persons. Over time the first name began to be applied to the bearer's whole family. At first through verbal usage, family names (Familiennamen) were later fixed through writing. Until the 17th century, first names played a more important role. The earliest family names derived from the first name of the first bearer (Patronym). Later names derived from the place of dwelling and location of the homestead. If a person of family migrated from one place to another they were identified by the place they came from. Of more recent origin are names derived from the vocation of profession of the first bearer. These names comprise the largest group and the most easily recognizable, for they tell what the first bearer did for a living. Another group are names derived from a physical or other characteristic of the first bearer. Finally, there are names that tell you the state or region a first bearer and his family came from; the age old division in tribes and regions (low German, middle German and upper German) is often reflected in names.

Variations of the surname



Variations of
the Surname


Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to unfold and expand often leading to an overwhelming number of variants.  As such one can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames because in early times, spelling in general and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized.  Later on spellings would change with the branching and movement of families.  Spelling variations of this family name include: Klein, Kleinn, Kleine, Kleinne, Kleyn, Kleynn, Kline, Clein, Clein, Cline, Kleiner, Klinertz, and many others.


The complexity of researching records is compounded by the fact that in many cases an ancestors surname may also have been misspelled.  This is especially true when searching census documents. The Soundex system was developed in an effort to assist with identifying spelling variations for a given surname.  Soundex is a method of indexing names in the 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 US Census, and can aid genealogists in their research.  The Soundex Code for Klein is K450.  Other surnames sharing this Soundex Code: KAELIN | KEELIN | KEELYN | KELLAM | KELLEN | KELLUM | KILIAN | KILLAM | KILLEEN | KILLEN | KILLIAN | KILLION | KLEIN | KLEINE | KLEMME | KLINE | KOELEWYN |. 

Source: Surname Resources at ROOTSWEB


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Direct Ancestors


Ancestral Lineage


Descendant Register

Generation 1

Anna Barbara Klein was born on 1696 in Kirchardt, Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. She died on 08 Apr 1762 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She married Johan Georg Barth on 26 Nov 1715 in Sinsheim, Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. He was born on 01 May 1686 in Tiefenbach,  Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. He died on 1768 in Lampeter Twp., Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania. Children of Anna Barbara Klein and Johan Georg Barth are: i.                   Anna Elizabeth Barth, B: Abt. 1719 in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, D: 20 Jun 1787 in Lower Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania, M: Bef. 1750 in York County, Pennsylvania. ii.                 John Michael Barth, B: 04 May 1721 in Germany, D: 22 Jan 1775 in York Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania. iii.               Zacharias Barth, B: Abt. 1719 in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany?. iv.               Barbara Barth, B: Bef. 1724 in Germany, M: 25 Aug 1751 in Pennsylvania. v.                 George Philip Bard, B: 02 Jun 1736 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, D: 23 Jun 1793 in Upper Leacock Twp., Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania, M: 20 Nov 1759 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  

Additional information about our DIRECT ANCESTORS  as well as a complete listing of individuals with this surname may be reviewed by clicking on the following LINK.

DKPS Surname Locator

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Ancestral locations





Researching the locations where my ancestors lived has provided me with valuable evidence needed to fill-in the gaps in my family trees.  It has also led me to many interesting facts that enhance the overall picture of each family group.  The names of states and counties on the following list were derived from the known places where the persons in the “Direct Ancestors” list (see above) were born, married, and / or died.






Heilbronn, (Kirchardt)

Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, (Sinsheim)



Lancaster County


Use this LINK to find out more about the locations listed above.



Where in the World

are My Ancestors?

Resources which enhance our knowledge of the places inhabited by our ancestors are almost as important as their names. The LINK to the left will take you to Maps, Gazetteers,   and  other  helpful   resources  that



will assist in discovering Ancestral Locations.  These web sites comprise only a small portion of what is available for researchers interested in learning more about the areas in which their ancestors lived.

Source documents




The documents and headstones contained within the “Source Documents Archives” have been located during my research of this family, and used as evidence to prove many of the facts contained within the database of this family’s record.


     Most of these documents can be considered as primary or secondary evidence.  Primary evidence is usually defined as the best available to prove the fact in question, usually in an original document or record.  Secondary evidence is in essence all that evidence which is inferior in its origin to primary evidence. That does not mean secondary evidence is always in error, but there is a greater chance of error.  Examples of this type of evidence would be a copy of an original record, or oral testimony of a record’s contents.  Published genealogies and family histories are also secondary evidence.

     Classifying evidence as either primary or secondary does not tell anything about its accuracy or ultimate value.  This is especially true of secondary evidence.  Thus it is always a good idea to ask the following questions: (1) How far removed from the original is it, (when it is a copy)?;  (2) What was the reason for the creation of the source which contains this evidence?; and (3) Who was responsible for creating this secondary evidence and what interest did they have in its accuracy?

SOURCE:  Greenwood, Val D., The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 2nd edition, Genealogical Publishing  Co., Baltimore, MD 21202, 1990, pgs. 62-63


You are welcome to download any of the documents contained within this archive.

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 us via the contact information found at the end of this page.

Use the following LINK to view the source documents pertaining to this family.


Web resources



Web Resources


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General Surname Resources

Your genealogy research of this surname can be facilitated by use of SURNAME WEB. This website links to the majority of the surname data on the web, as well as to individual family trees, origin and surname meaning if known, and many other related genealogy resources. 


SURNAME FINDER provides easy access to free and commercial resources for 1,731,359 surnames. On each surname specific "finder" page, you can search a variety of online databases all pre-programmed with your surname.


Use ALL SURNAMES GENEALOGY to get access to find your surname resources .  There are almost 1300 links in this directory.


Additional Sites That We Recommend

Linkpendium Surnames - Web sites, obituaries, biographies, and other material specific to a surname.

Cyndi's List - Surnames, Family Associations & Family Newsletters Index - Sites or resources dedicated to specific, individual family surnames.

Free Genealogy Search Help for Google - This free genealogy site will help you use Google™ for your research. It will create a series of different searches using tips or "tricks" that will likely improve your results. The different searches will give you many different ways of using Google to find ancestry information on the Internet. - Family History and Genealogy Records - The largest collection of free family history, family tree and genealogy records in the world.

Top Genealogical Websites - These mighty roots resources compiled by “Family Tree Magazine”, will give you the power to bust through research brick walls and find answers about your ancestors—all from your home computer.

SurnameDB Free database of surname meanings - This site SurnameDB.Com contains a large FREE to access database (almost 50,000 surnames) on the history and meaning of family last names.




The following Link will take you to our library of genealogy reference books.   Here you will find bibliographies, family histories and books about names.  In addition, there are texts that pertain to ethnic and religion groups, history, geography as well as other books that will assist you with your research.


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Images gallery


Family Images

During my research I have collected images and photographs that are of general interest to a particular family.  Some of them are presented on this website because I believe they tend to provide the reader with additional information which may aid in the understanding of our ancestors past lives.


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Contact Information



Snail Mail:

889 Dante Ct.
Mantua, NJ 08051



Snail Mail:

889 Dante Ct.
Mantua, NJ 08051