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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

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

The roots of the distinguished German surname Zerbe can be traced back to the region of Saxony. The name is derived from the place name "Zerben," a town near the city of Magdeburg, and would most likely have been initially borne by a resident of this area. Alternatively, the name may be derived from the Germanic "serbe," a term which refers to the Slav-speaking minority in Eastern Germany.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Zerbe, Zerben, Serbe, Serben, Syrbe, Syrben and others.

First found in Zerben, where the name most likely originated. A surname deriving from a place of origin is often bestowed on someone who has moved from their native town; thus, it is probable that the initial bearer of the surname Zerbe was a native of Zerben who had taken up residence in another town.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Zerbe research. Another 175 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Zerbe History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Zerbe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Zerbe Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Martin Zerbe, who arrived in New York in 1709-1710
  • Lorentz Zerbe, who settled in New York in 1710
  • Philipp Zerbe, who arrived in New York, NY in 1710
  • Peter Zerbe, who immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1728

Zerbe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Phil Zerbe, who landed in America in 1852

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  • Anthony Jared Zerbe (b. 1936), American Emmy Award winning stage, film and television actor and director, best known for his role as Lieutenant K.C. Trench in the private detective series Harry O and his roles in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions
  • William Chad Zerbe (b. 1972), American former Major League Baseball relief pitcher who played for the San Francisco Giants from 2000 to 2003
  • Jerome Zerbe (1904-1988), American photographer
  • Karl Zerbe (1903-1972), German-born American painter
  • Walter Zerbe (1906-1975), deputy manager of Bern College of Art


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  1. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmacher's Grosses Wappenbuch 35 Volumes. Germany: Bauer & Raspe. Print.
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  6. Oswald, G. Lexicon der Heraldik. Leipzig: 1984. Print.
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Gritzner, M. Handbuch der heraldischen Terminologie in zwölf Zungen. Nürnberg: 1890. Print.
  9. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Journeys German Immigration, Settlement and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  10. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
  11. ...

The Zerbe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Zerbe 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 29 October 2014 at 10:07.

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