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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

The German state of Bavaria is the ancestral home of the Zellner family. Zellner is a local name. Zellner is a name for someone 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.


The surname Zellner was 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."

Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Zellner include Zeller, Zellers, Zell, Zelle, Zella, Zellmer, Zelleman, Zellaman, Zellemann, Zellner, Zelmer, Zelman, Zelkmann, Zellman, Zelner, Zellerman and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Zellner 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 Zellner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Prominent among members of the name Zellner in this period include Matthäus (Matias) Zell (1477-1548), a Lutheran theologian and reformer based in Strasbourg; and his wife Katharina Zell, née Schütz (1497-1562), a German Protestant writer during the Reformation; Ulrich Zell...

Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Zellner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


European migration to North America began in the mid-17th century and continued unabated until the mid-20th. Many Bavarians made the long trip to escape poverty or persecution based on their religious beliefs. The chance for tenant farmers to own their own land was also a major drawing card. They settled all across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many came to Canada also, settling in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Zellners to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Zellner Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Conrad Zellner came to Philadelphia in 1750
  • Conrad Zellner came to Pennsylvania in 1750
  • Conrad Zellner, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1750

Zellner Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Walruch Zellner, who arrived in Indiana in 1852
  • Ferdenand Zellner, who landed in Arkansas in 1857
  • Ferdenand Zellner settled in Arkansas in 1857
  • George Zellner arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1882
  • George Zellner, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1882

  • Torrance A. Zellner (b. 1970), American track and field athlete
  • Kathleen Zellner, American lawyer
  • Hunndens Guiseppi "Peppi" Zellner (b. 1975), former American football player
  • Paula Zellner, American Democrat politician, Member of Democratic National Committee from Wisconsin, 2004-08; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Wisconsin, 2004, 2008
  • Lisa K. Zellner, American Democrat politician, Member, Platform Committee, Democratic National Convention, 2008
  • J. Kimball Zellner, American politician, Member of Georgia State Senate, 1950
  • Hazel K. Zellner, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1944
  • Ansel Kenneth Zellner (1894-1961), American Republican politician, Veterinarian; Mayor of Oneida, New York, 1938-41
  • Arnold Zellner (1927-2010), prominent American Professor of Economics
  • Martina Zellner (b. 1974), former German biathlete
  • ...

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    Other References

    1. 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).
    2. Jones, George F. The Germans of Colonial Georgia 1733-1783 Revised edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0806311614).
    3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    4. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
    5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    6. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmachers Wappenbuch. München, Battenberg: 1975. Print.
    7. Neubecker, Ottfried. Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon der bürgerlichen Geschlechter Deutschlands, Oesterreichs und der Schweiz. Battenberg, München: 1985. Print.
    8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    9. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
    10. Jones, Henry Z. Palatine Families of New York 2 Volumes. Rockland, ME: Picton Press, 2001. Print. (ISBN 978-0961388829).
    11. ...

    The Zellner Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Zellner 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 10 December 2015 at 10:27.

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