I’ve always been told that I was named after a German actress. So, I’ve never had any expectation that it was a family name. Until my family moved to New England when I was 10, I’d never even met anyone with the first name Kristen and even then it was more often spelled Kristin.
There are actually two others—Kristen and Kristin—in my family tree. One from my father’s side, the other from my mother’s side. Both were born after 1900. It is unlikely that either of my parents even knew about either—the relationship was that distant.
However, I have seen related names in my family history. In my research I’ve most often seen the name as Christina or Christiana. My eldest, direct immigrant ancestors Christopher and Anna Margaretha (Jock) Hacker had a daughter named Christina. She married Johann Michael Lang (Long here in the U.S.) in Rußheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany on 8 Nov 1746. This couple came to the U.S. in 1752 with Christina’s parents. They had children: Johann Michael Jr. and Anna Christina. Their daughter married Johan Wilhelm Stober in Lancaster County circa 1777. This couple moved to Centre County, Pennsylvania.
Christopher’s son Johan Adam, my ancestor, and his wife Maria Elisabetha Weidman had two daughters named Christiana. The eldest died as a child. The younger girl married Henrich Fetter on 26 Jun 1781 at Christ Lutheran Church in Stouchsburg, Berks County, Pennsylvania. They had children: Catharine, born 4 Jun 1782; George, born 10 Aug 1785; John, born 19 Sep 1789; Anne Marie, born 18 Sep 1791; and Elisabeth, born 2 Feb 1794.
The name isn’t found again in my direct line until me.