KUHN - Surname Meaning and Family History

What Does the Last Name Kuhn Mean?

Kuhn is a descriptive surname meaning "keen or bold counsel."
PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou / Getty Images

The Kuhn surname originated as a nickname or descriptive name for someone who was bold or keen; descendant of KUHN, a pet form of Kunrat, German form of Conrad, meaning "bold, counsel."

Surname Origin: German


Famous People With the KUHN Surname

  • Thomas Kuhn - American historian and physicist; famous for his 1962 book called "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions"
  • Friedrich Adalbert Maximilian Kuhn - German botanist
  • Oskar Kuhn - German paleontologist
  • Richard Kuhn - Austrian biochemist, winner of the 1938 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
  • W. Langdon Kihn - American painter and illustrator

Where Is the KUHN Surname Most Common?

According to surname distribution from Forebears, the Kuhn surname is most common in Germany, ranking as the country's 56th most common surname. It is also fairly common in Switzerland, where it is the 74th most common last name. WorldNames PublicProfiler data indicates the Kuhn surname is especially common in southwestern German, particularly the state of Saarland. It is also common in Zurich, Ostschweiz and Nordwestschweiz, Switzerland, as well as in Alsace, France.

Surname maps from Verwandt.de indicate the Kuhn surname is most common in southwestern Germany, especially in the counties or cities of Munich, Neunkirchen, Stadtverband Saarbrucken, Ostalbkreis, Wurzburg, Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, Esslingen and Offenbach.

Genealogy Resources for the Surname KUHN

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.

Kuhn Family Crest - It's Not What You Think
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Kuhn family crest or coat of arms for the Kuhn 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.

Coon DNA Surname Project
Individuals with the Coon surname and variations such as Kuhn, Kuehne, Koone, Kohn, Koon, Kuhne, Kuhns, Coontz, and Kuntz, plus dozens of others, have joined together to combine genealogy research with Y-DNA testing to help determine common ancestry.

KUHN Family Genealogy Forum
This free message board is focused on the descendants of Kuhn ancestors around the world. Search or browse the archives for your Kuhn ancestors, or join the group and post your own Kuhn family query.

FamilySearch - KUHN Genealogy
Explore over 2.8 million results from digitized historical records and lineage-linked family trees related to the Kuhn surname on this free website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

KUHN Surname Mailing List
Free mailing list for researchers of the Kuhn surname and its variations includes subscription details and a searchable archives of past messages.

DistantCousin.com - KUHN Genealogy & Family History
Explore free databases and genealogy links for the last name Kuhn.

GeneaNet - Kuhn Records
GeneaNet includes archival records, family trees, and other resources for individuals with the Kuhn surname, with a concentration on records and families from France and other European countries.

The Kuhn Genealogy and Family Tree Page
Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the Kuhn surname from the website of Genealogy Today.

References: Surname Meanings & Origins

  • 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.
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Powell, Kimberly. "KUHN - Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/kuhn-surname-meaning-and-origin-4108800. Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 27). KUHN - Surname Meaning and Family History. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/kuhn-surname-meaning-and-origin-4108800 Powell, Kimberly. "KUHN - Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/kuhn-surname-meaning-and-origin-4108800 (accessed June 9, 2023).