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

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

The ancestral home of the Zwicke family is Bavaria. Zwicke is a local name for a person who lived in the town of Zwickl in Bavaria. In the eastern regions of Bohemia and Silesia, Zwicker or Zwicke was a short form of Zwickauer, which denoted a person from the Saxon city of Zwickau. In Old German, the words Zwick, Zwack, or Zweck meant nails orbolts, and the verb zwicken or zwacken meant to pack or load.


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 Zwicke include Zwick, Zwickel, Zwicker (Saxony), Zwicke (Silesia), Zwickert (Silesia), Zwicken, Zwicki (Switzerland), Zwicky (Switzerland), Zwack (Bavaria), Zwacker, Zweck and many more.

First found in Bavaria, 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 territory a landmark contributor to the development of the nation. Zwickl is a town in Bavaria, and Berchtold der Zwickel was the founder of a prominent line of the family in the Bavarian city Augsburg around 1317. In the eastern regions of Bohemia and Silesia, Zwicker or Zwicke was a short form of the label "Zwickauer," applied to a person from the Saxon city of Zwickau. For instance, Herman Czwicker (Czickower) was recorded in the Silesian city Breslau in 1348. Chronicles also mention Heinrich Zwick of the Swiss town St. Gallen in the year 1436. In Old-German, the words Zwick, Zwack, or Zweck referred literally to nails or bolts, and the verb "zwicken" or "zwacken" meant to pack or load.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Zwicke research. Another 223 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1709, 1792, 1403, 1391, 1403 and 1792 are included under the topic Early Zwicke History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 117 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Zwicke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Between the mid-17th and mid-20th centuries, German settlers arrived in North America by the thousands. Persecution based on religion and poverty were great motivators in this large-scale migration. So too was the opportunity for tenant farmers to own their own land. Ample land and opportunity awaited the settlers who went to such states as Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California, as well as Ontario and the prairie provinces of Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Zwicke or a variant listed above: Matthew Zwick, who came with his wife and their four children to America in 1709. Heinrich Zwick came to Philadelphia in 1743; Veronica Zwick arrived in New York City in 1710 at the age of 39.


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  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. Jones, Henry Z. Palatine Families of New York 2 Volumes. Rockland, ME: Picton Press, 2001. Print. (ISBN 978-0961388829).
  3. Bahlow, Hans. Mecklenburgisches Namenbüchlein Ein Führer durch Mecklenburgs Familiennamen. Rostock: Carl Hinstorffs Verlag, 1932. Print.
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  6. Nied, Edmund. Fraenkische Familiennamen urkundlich gesammelt und sprachlich gedeutet. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1933. Print.
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Kneschke, Dr. Ernest Heinrich. Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon 9 Volumes New General German Aristocracy Lexicon. Leipzig: Friedrich Voigt, 1859. Print.
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Zwicke Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Zwicke 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 12 July 2013 at 10:53.

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