Show ContentsWerneke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The German surname Werneke emerged in the lands that formed the modern state of Lower Saxony, which is presently bordered by the North Sea, the Hartz mountains and the Elbe and Ems rivers. Lower Saxony was previously a medieval Saxon dukedom.

The name can be traced to the popular medieval pet-form Wezelo, which was a common abbreviation of the Christian name Wernher, and the surname came to denote 'a son of Wezelo'. Wernher was a very popular choice of Christian name in Medieval Germany, as it had been the name of many famous Crusaders. This Christian name was popular among their ranks and this ensured the popularity of the name. Most personal names were abbreviated and Wezelo was a common abbreviation of Wernher. The name Werner translates from German to mean "protector."

Bruder (Brother) Wernher (fl. 13th century) was an Austrian poet who wrote Middle High German social or political songs. He took part in the Sixth Crusade (1228-1229) under Emperor Frederick II as in one poem, he was highly critical of Pope Gregory IX for the war he instigated against Frederick II in 1228.

Wernher von Homberg (also Werner; Hohenberg, 1284-1320) was a knight in the service Emperor Henry VII, and later of Frederick the Fair. Some of his poems appear in the Codex Manesse (c. 1340.)

Early Origins of the Werneke family

The surname Werneke was first found in Lower Saxony, where the family gained a significant reputation for their contribution to the emerging mediaeval society. Branches of this estimable family held estates near Hanover, at Trebitsch in Silesia, and at Tolitz in Pomerania. The oldest form of the name is Werneke or Werner, but, in northern areas especially around Hamburg, it changed to Warner by around 1300. Chronicles first mention Herman Werneking of Hanover in 1497.

Early History of the Werneke family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Werneke research. Another 189 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1490, 1541, 1637, 1646, 1687, 1693, 1710, 1718, 1750, 1759, 1761, 1766, 1768, 1791, 1805, 1817, 1818, 1823 and 1829 are included under the topic Early Werneke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Werneke Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Werner, Wernher, Warner, Warners, Werners, Wernere, Wernerer, Waerner, Warncke, Warnke (Hamburg), Werneke, Warnken, Warnke, Warneking (Westphalia) and many more.

Early Notables of the Werneke family

Notables of the time included Zacharias Werner (1768-1823), who was a controversial dramatist. Abraham Gottlieb Werner (1750-1817) was a famous mineralogist and is considered to be the founder of geology. He influenced generations of prominent scientists while teaching at the mining institute in Freiberg. Gregor Joseph Werner (1693-1766) was an Austrian composer...
Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Werneke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Werneke migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Werneke Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Ernst Werneke, who arrived in New York, NY in 1857

Contemporary Notables of the name Werneke (post 1700) +

  • Richard E. Werneke, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Indiana, 1932 1

  1. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 27) . Retrieved from on Facebook