Stiltner Family History & Genealogy

3 photos and 1,097 biographies with the Stiltner last name. Discover the family history, nationality, origin and common names of Stiltner family members.

Stiltner Last Name History & Origin

Updated Oct 15, 2021


America, since its discovery, has held an attraction to many early European populations. Populations stressed by poverty, hunger, religious persecutions, and unfair taxes. The popular legend holds that Fredrick Stigler fled Germany and stowed away on a ship bound for America. He landed in Norfork, Virginia, a staved and hungry man. He was drafted into the Hessian Army and later deserted and was drafted by the Colonial Army. Legend says he robbed the paymaster and stole a horse. It was said he changed his name to Stiltner to avoid detection.
 History shows that the formation of last names came about in European countries as a means to tracking citizens to collect taxes.

Name Origin

The Steinmetz family and other Jewish people were heavily taxed by the German government. They were restricted to living in segregated communities, apart from the general population.
     Jewish people often changed their names to avoid taxes and rarely had “sir” names. In order to correct this practice the German government assigned Jewish last names based on one’s profession and location. They choose German words that sounded the most like the Yedish word for the occupation and location. The new names were to be used on official records, and for tax collection, although their real names were used in Jewish records and on marriage contracts. Steinmetz became Stigler, which became Stiltner in America. The German word “ner” refers to one’s profession. The early Stiltners set timbers (stilts) in coal mines. The Christopher name indicates a Christian conversion in the family. The Stiltners in America also descend from the Weidner Family (Jewish) that converted to Christianity before arriving in America. The name was later changed in America to Widner.

Spellings & Pronunciations

Steinmetz to Stigler to Stiltner and some times Stilton

Nationality & Ethnicity

The ancestors of the present day Stiltners came from a "Jewish ghetto" located near the city of Hamburg, Germany. The family name was Steinmetz. “Stein” means “stone”. The families were “stone cutters”. Jewish people were allowd to querry stone but forbidden to carve and work the stone due to the strong "craft guilds" in Germany, which barred Jewish people from engaging in skilled and artisan trades. The magority of Stiltners living in Virginia and Columberland Plateau area of the Appalachian Mountains are of Christian faith, but large numbers of Stiltners living apart from these areas still retain their Jewish roots. Many of the Stiltner claim Cherokee ancestry in their DNA. There is documentary evidence of male tribal members of the Cherokee Nation trading with early Spanish settlements in the South for Spanish slaves (most were of Turkish, Portuguese, and Jewish origin). The other route of Jewish ancestry cane from Fredrick Stigler  and his wife who was a Weidner. Many Stiltners have hereditary diseases as "Familiar Meditterean Fever" an "Tsasachs Disease".

Famous People named Stiltner

Fredick Stigler and Fredrick Stiltner, Jr..  Biographies are available on the internet.

Early Stiltners

These are the earliest records we have of the Stiltner family.

Stiltner Family Photos

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Stiltner Death Records & Life Expectancy

The average age of a Stiltner family member is 66.3 years old according to our database of 956 people with the last name Stiltner that have a birth and death date listed.


Other Stiltner Records


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Sarah Stiltner commented
I was reading the Stiltner family history and it mentioned Jewish connection, which i found quite fascinating. I had been unaware of this until now- does anyone have more information regarding this?
Mar 26, 2014  ·  Reply
M Steinmetz commented
Hi Sarah, did anyone ever contact you with any further information?
Oct 12  ·  Reply
Sarah Stiltner commented
No, unfortunately not.
Oct 13  ·  Reply
M Steinmetz commented
I connected the Stitlner and Weidner families to the Holtzklau and Sohlbach families! They're direct descendants, and related to the Otterbach's, and a few other German Jewish families. As far as the lineage, I was able to find proof of Jewish faith dating from 1522 up until the 1800's. Around the time many Jewish German immigrants packed way for America. It seems the ticket to America for Germans of non christian faith with conversion, but under Jewish law, even under conversion you're still Jewish! Life is full of surprises.
Oct 14  ·  Reply
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