Show ContentsZelik History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Zelik is a ancient German name that originated in the Rhineland. While the Germans at first used only one name, population increases created confusion among people of the same name, forcing them to adopt hereditary surnames. Two common types of German names are patronymic names, taken from the given name of the father, and metronymic names, taken from the name of the mother. Zelik was derived from the baptismal name for the son of Selig, which originated as a pet form of several German personal names, including Salger, Salafrid and Selibrand.

Early Origins of the Zelik family

The surname Zelik was first found in the Rhineland, 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 Prussian territory an important factor in the development of the nation. The literal meaning of this name in its mediaeval context was "happy" or "cheerful." Ancient chronicles first mention a bearer of this name, one Godefrid Selicheit of the ancient imperial city of Worms, around 1196.

Early History of the Zelik family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Zelik research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1196, 1365, 1370 and 1464 are included under the topic Early Zelik History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Zelik Spelling Variations

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 Zelik include Selig, Seliger (Silesia), Seelig, Seeliger, Seelinger, Zelig, Seliche, Solige, Selege, Selik, Selich, Zelich, Zelik, Selligman, Seligman, Seligmann, Selichman and many more.

Early Notables of the Zelik family

More information is included under the topic Early Zelik Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Zelik migration to the United States +

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 the Rhineland who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. Many of those who left the Rhineland to seek their fortunes in the prosperous and free New World settled in the major urban centers of the United States and Canada. In the United States, the settlers from the Rhineland passed through immigration centers like that of Ellis Island, most of them moving on to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, and New York. In Canada, the majority of Rhinelanders settled in Ontario and the prairie provinces. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many important settlers to North America bearing the name Zelik, or one of its variants above:

Zelik Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Adalia Zelik, aged 16, who immigrated to the United States from Borisowa, Russia, in 1907
  • Janos Zelik, aged 46, who immigrated to the United States from Tinayhely, Hungary, in 1909
  • Laszlo Zelik, aged 39, who landed in America from Tiszasyhely, Hungary, in 1910
  • Antoni Zelik, aged 19, who immigrated to America from Kolak, Russia, in 1912
  • Andras Zelik, aged 8, who landed in America from Sasbrance, Hungary, in 1913
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