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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the German Zelman family come from? What is the German Zelman family crest and coat of arms? When did the Zelman family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Zelman family history?

The ancestral home of the Zelman family was in the German state of Bavaria. Zelman is a local name for a person who lived in the place named Zell. This place-name can be found in several areas in Germany, but the most well known town of this name is in the region of Freiburg, which is in the Schwarzwald, or the Black Forest, just north of the Swiss border. The place-name has appeared in several countries where the Germanic people had influence.

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In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Zelman include Zeller, Zellers, Zell, Zelle, Zella, Zellmer, Zelleman, Zellaman, Zellemann, Zellner, Zelmer, Zelman, Zelkmann, Zellman, Zelner, Zellerman and many more.

First found in Bavaria, where the name could be considered to make a great early contribution to the feudal society which became the backbone of early development of Europe. The name became prominent in local affairs and branched into many houses which played important roles in the savage tribal and national conflicts, each group seeking supremacy in constantly changing power relations. Chronicles first mention Ulrich Zeller of Esslingen in 1282 and Dietrich Czelleman of Muehlhausen in Saxony in 1393. The name originates in the Latin word "cella," which was taken into mediaeval German in the word "Klosterzelle."


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Zelman research. Another 235 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1630, 1477, 1548, 1497, 1562, 1503, 1462, 1560, 1683 and 1763 are included under the topic Early Zelman History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 137 words(10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Zelman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Between the mid-17th and mid-20th centuries, German settlers arrived in North America by the thousands. Persecution based on religion and poverty were great motivators in this large-scale migration. So too was the opportunity for tenant farmers to own their own land. Ample land and opportunity awaited the settlers who went to such states as Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California, as well as Ontario and the prairie provinces of Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Zelman or a variant listed above: Bacshe Zeller, who came with his wife Verena Schaublin and their three children to Carolina in 1749; Heinrich Zeller came to Philadelphia in 1738; Peter Zell came to Philadelphia County in 1734.

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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  3. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
  4. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
  5. Strassburger, Ralph B. German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  6. Kneschke, Dr. Ernest Heinrich. Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon 9 Volumes New General German Aristocracy Lexicon. Leipzig: Friedrich Voigt, 1859. Print.
  7. Preuss, Otto. Die Lippischen Familiennamen mit Berücksichtigung der Ortsnamen. Detmold: Meyer'sche Hofbuchh, 1887. Print.
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Zelman Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Zelman Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 1 April 2014 at 10:21.

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