Show ContentsSchwenke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

A multitude of prestigious family names, such as the surname Schwenke, were formed in the lands which became the modern German state of Prussia, known for its beauty, industry and military power. However, in the medieval era, Prussia was fragmented and inhabited by numerous barbarian tribes, who fought amongst themselves for control of the land. The borders of the barbarian kingdoms, which were established after the fall of the Roman Empire, changed repeatedly. The region that came to be known as Prussia was roughly divided between the territories of Brandenburg-Prussia, West Prussia and East Prussia The Schwenke family emerged in Brandenburg-Prussia, which is essentially the birthplace of modern Germany. By the 19th century, Brandenburg-Prussia had incorporated East Prussia, West Prussia and many other German territories. Moreover, in the late 19th century, it led the German states in the unification of Germany.

Early Origins of the Schwenke family

The surname Schwenke was first found in Mecklenburg, in the western Baltic region, where the name was closely identified in early mediaeval times, as early as 1202, with the feudal society which would become prominent throughout European history. Old Mecklenburg chronicles mention Carston von Schwan in 1202 and Heinrich von Schwan, court tutor (Hofmeister) to the Duke of Mecklenburg, in 1248. In 1413 the Knight, Carl von Schwan, accompanied the Bishop Sigismund to Camin to the historical Council of Costnitz. The name would later be associated with a noble family with great influence, having many distinguished branches in the eastern provinces of Pomerania and Meissen. They became noted for their involvement in social, economic and political affairs, giving the name Schwan to a city near the port of Rostock.

Early History of the Schwenke family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Schwenke research. Another 125 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1679, 1563, 1610, 1810, 1882, 1729 and 1760 are included under the topic Early Schwenke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Schwenke Spelling Variations

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 Schwenke include Schwan, Schwann, Schwahn and others.

Early Notables of the Schwenke family (pre 1700)

Notable figures of the time with the name Schwenke were Michael Schwenke (1563-1610), was a German sculptor from Pirna, Saxony. Theodor Schwann (1810-1882), who was one of the most important biologists of the 19th century, mainly because...
Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Schwenke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Schwenke migration to the United States +

Much of German history has been shaped by the state of Prussia. It was an enduring military power until after the Second World War. At that time, the state was abolished altogether and its land divided between the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany. While some Prussians were content to remain in those countries, others moved away, many of them migrating to North America. They entered the United States mostly through Philadelphia, moving on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Others went to Canada, settling on the prairies and in the province of Ontario. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were:

Schwenke Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Fritz Schwenke, aged 45, who landed in New York, NY in 1893 [1]
Schwenke Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Adolf Schwenke, aged 15, who settled in America from Hamburg, in 1900
  • Ida Schwenke, who immigrated to the United States, in 1904
  • Elisabeth Schwenke, aged 53, who settled in America from Hamburg, Germany, in 1909
  • Hans Schwenke, aged 24, who immigrated to America from Berlin, Germany, in 1909
  • Paul Schwenke, aged 31, who settled in America from Radebenl, Germany, in 1912
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Schwenke (post 1700) +

  • Brian Max Schwenke Jr. (b. 1991), American football center for the Tennessee Titans
  • Wolfgang Schwenke (b. 1968), German handball player and trainer
  • Robert Schwenke (1873-1944), German constructing engineer and automotive pioneer
  • Hans Schwenke (b. 1934), German photographer and delegate
  • Wolfgang Schwenke (1921-2006), German zoologist and entomologist
  • Nelson Schwenke (1957-2012), Chilean musician

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook