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

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

The Zwick surname first began to be used in the German state of Bavaria, some time after the 12th century, when hereditary surnames were adopted according to fairly general rules, and names that were derived from locations became particularly common. The family name Zwick is a local surname. Originally denoting the proprietorship of an estate or influence within a village, the German preposition von, which means from or of, used with local names, was taken as a mark of aristocracy. The surname Zwick was given to someone who lived in the town of Zwickl in Bavaria. In the eastern regions of Bohemia and Silesia, Zwicker or Zwicke was a short form of Zwickauer, which denoted a person from the Saxon city of Zwickau. In Old German, the words Zwick, Zwack, or Zweck meant nails orbolts, and the verb zwicken or zwacken meant to pack or load.

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One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Zwick include Zwick, Zwickel, Zwicker (Saxony), Zwicke (Silesia), Zwickert (Silesia), Zwicken, Zwicki (Switzerland), Zwicky (Switzerland), Zwack (Bavaria), Zwacker, Zweck and many more.

First found in Bavaria, where the name emerged in mediaeval times as one of the notable families of the region. From the 13th century the surname was identified with the great social and economic evolution which made this territory a landmark contributor to the development of the nation. Zwickl is a town in Bavaria, and Berchtold der Zwickel was the founder of a prominent line of the family in the Bavarian city Augsburg around 1317. In the eastern regions of Bohemia and Silesia, Zwicker or Zwicke was a short form of the label "Zwickauer," applied to a person from the Saxon city of Zwickau. For instance, Herman Czwicker (Czickower) was recorded in the Silesian city Breslau in 1348. Chronicles also mention Heinrich Zwick of the Swiss town St. Gallen in the year 1436. In Old-German, the words Zwick, Zwack, or Zweck referred literally to nails or bolts, and the verb "zwicken" or "zwacken" meant to pack or load.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Zwick research. Another 223 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1709, 1792, 1403, 1391, 1403 and 1792 are included under the topic Early Zwick History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 117 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Zwick Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The great European flow of migration to North America, which began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century, was particularly attractive to those from Bavaria who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. For many Bavarian tenant farmers, the chance to own their own land was a major incentive. So the widespread colonization of the United States began in 1650, when many immigrants from Germany settled in pockets in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. In Canada, German settlement centered in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were:

Zwick Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Matthew Zwick, who came with his wife and their four children to America in 1709
  • Veronica Zwick arrived in New York City in 1710 at the age of 39
  • Heinrich Zwick, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1743
  • Heinrich Zwick came to Philadelphia in 1743

Zwick Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Abraham Zwick, aged 6, who emigrated to the United States, in 1895

Zwick Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Anna Zwick, aged 50, who landed in America from Toporcz, Hungary, in 1906
  • Anna Zwick, aged 33, who landed in America from Eusapu, Germany, in 1907
  • Aron Zwick, aged 20, who settled in America from Olanek, Russia, in 1910
  • Carl Zwick, aged 33, who emigrated to the United States, in 1920
  • Abram Zwick, aged 16, who landed in America from Krzywrzyce, Poland, in 1921


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  • Charles Zwick (b. 1926), prominent American economist and banker
  • Edward Zwick (b. 1952), American film director and producer
  • Joel Zwick (b. 1942), American director of movies, theatre, and television shows
  • Justin Zwick (b. 1983), American football quarterback


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  1. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
  5. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmachers Wappenbuch. München, Battenberg: 1975. Print.
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
  8. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Hopeful Journeys German Immigration, Settlement, and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  9. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. Print. (ISBN 978-0806303024).
  10. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
  11. ...

The Zwick Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Zwick 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 13 February 2014 at 22:27.

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