Humanities › History & Culture KAISER - Surname Meaning and Family History What Does the Last Name Kaiser Mean? Share Flipboard Email Print Adriana Varela Photography / Getty Images History & Culture Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated June 05, 2017 The Kaiser surname means "king or ruler," from the Middle High German keiser, meaning "emperor." Originating from the Latin name Caesar, this name was often given to individuals who played the part of "King" in local plays and pageants year after year - a popular pastime during the middle ages. The name may also have been given to one with a kingly appearance or manner. The phrase "The Kaiser" is considered synonymous with the Kaiser emperors of the Austrian Empire (1804–1835)—Franz I, Ferdinand I, Franz Joseph I, and Karl I—and emperors of the German empire (1871–1918)—Wilhelm I, Friedrich III and Wilhelm II. Surname Origin: German Alternate Surname Spellings: KEISER, KEYSER, KISER, KYSER, KIZER, KYZER Famous People With the Kaiser Surname Henry J. Kaiser: American industrialistFrederik Kaiser: Dutch astronomerReinhard Keiser: German composer Where Is the Kaiser Surname Most Common? According to surname distribution from Forebears, the Kaiser surname is most common in Liechtenstein ranking as the country's 25th most common surname. It is also popular in Germany (ranked 30th), Austria (50th) and Switzerland (89th). WorldNames PublicProfiler indicates the surname is especially common in the Ostschweiz region of Switzerland, particularly in Sankt Gallen. It is also prevalent throughout southern Germany, especially in the regions of Baden-Württemberg, Hessen, and Rheinland-Pfalz. Surname maps from MyHeritage.de indicate the Kaiser last name is most common in southwestern Germany and western Germany, especially in the counties or cities of Waldshut, Esslingen, Cologne, Offenbach, Stuttgart, and Hochsauerlandkreis. Genealogy Resources for the Surname Kaiser Meanings of Common German Surnames Uncover the meaning of your German last name with this free guide to the meanings and origins of common German surnames. Kaiser Family Crest - It's Not What You Think Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Kaiser family crest or coat of arms for the Kaiser surname. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families, and may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted. The Kaiser DNA Project Individuals with the Kaiser surname, or variants such as Kizer, Kiser, Kyser, Kyzer, Keyser, or Keiser, are invited to join this DNA Project to work together to find their common heritage through DNA testing and sharing of information. The website includes information on the project, research done to date, and instructions on how to participate. KAISER Family Genealogy Forum This free message board is focused on descendants of Kaiser ancestors around the world. FamilySearch - KAISER Genealogy Explore over 1.3 million results from digitized historical records and lineage-linked family trees related to the Kaiser surname on this free website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. GeneaNet - Kaiser Records GeneaNet includes archival records, family trees, and other resources for individuals with the Kaiser surname, with a concentration on records and families from France and other European countries. The Kaiser Genealogy and Family Tree Page Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the Kaiser surname from the website of Genealogy Today. Sources Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Collins Celtic (Pocket edition), 1998.Fucilla, Joseph. Our Italian Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003.Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1997.Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.