- This surname recorded originally as Kleinhaus and Kleinhausen, derives from the pre 10th century Old High German or the Dutch "Klein", meaning "small", plus "haus", a house, and in Britain would be described a residential surname. Such names with the prefix Klein appear regularly in German records and include compounds such as Kleinhandler, literally "a small trader", and Kleinplatz, a small place. Altogether there are estimated to be over fifty surnames which contain "klein" in some form. The spelling as "Kleanthous" does not appear to be recorded in Germany, and seems to be an English dialectal tranposition. As "Kleinhaus" the name is apparently first recorded in England at Bethnal Green, London, in 1825. The unpopularity of German names in Britain, has generally lead to them being anglicised, examples being Reinhart to Raynor, and in extreme cases Zimmerman to Carpenter. Kleinhaus is recorded at Pfalz, state of Bayern, Germany, on July 15th 1663, when Johannes Kleinhaus was born, and in the town of Jagtkreis, state of Wuerttenburg, Germany, when Barbara Kleinhaus married Georgius Steinmetz on July 6th 1673. The first recorded spelling of the family name is probably that of Godescalus Cleinhouvet, which was dated November 1202, in the charter so Cologne, Germany, during the reign of Emperor Otto 1V of the Holy Roman (German) Empire, 1198 - 1215.
Surnames reference. 2013.
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