The derivation of the various alternative surnames is a little unsure.
Speculation by a chronicler suggests the family name arose in the 14th century from a Bohemien family „Rohac z Dubé“ which translates into the German „Käfer“. In Bohemia at this time there existed many noble families e.g. von Waldstein (the well known Wallenstein; basicly Valdstejn = Waldnstein) Lauenstein, Hohenstein, Königstein etc. who derived their germanic names form the fact that they had employed German craftsmen to build their castles and strongholds and these craftsmen used the German name of the castle as the surname of the family. In this manor the name Keferstein may have arisen.
Some experts doubt this explanation. There are no known areas or castles in Bohemia with the name Keferstein. But there may be an unrecognized mountain or feature with this name. In a place-name guide placenames which include „Käfer-„ are shown. The name derives from the name „Borkenkäfer“ the bark beetle.
As well as a place called „Käfermakt“ in Bavaria there is also a „Keferloh“. It could be that people coming from these places were named after them. For example in the neighbourhood of Leupoldsgrün (near Hof/Saale, Germany) an area formally named „Kefergrün“ exists. Leupoldsgrün is particular interesting because it is in that area that the name Keferstein as a surname is first noted in 1373, about 100 years before the first entry in our family tree.
Kefergrün was first noted as an area of habitation in 1373, between 1408 and 1497 it seems to have become uninhabited but the name was used as a placename since 1692 and still exists.
The names „Keferstein“, „Käferstein“, „Kefferstein“ indicate an origin of the Keferstein-Family in the region Hof/Saale. Today we know that Keferstein, Käferstein, Keaferstein, Kefferstein are all different spellings of the same family. The kinship relationships can all be seen in the details of our family tree.
We would be happy to receive any information which can help us to resolve the puzzle of the origin of our family name.