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Family Ancestors


Family History

Origins of the Surname

Variations of the Surname

Family Coat of Arms

Ancestral Lineage

Ancestral Locations

Source Documents

Web Resources

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Family history

Family history


Family History



     It is believed, but not well proven, that Anna Marie Ziegler, daughter of Michael Ziegler, was the wife of my 4th great-grandfather Andrew Gilbert (1776-1828).   This theory is based upon four sets of information.  (1) A record at Family Search, International Genealogical Index, shows Anna Marie Ziegler, daughter of Michael and Anna Maria Ziegler as being born, about 1790,  in Shrewsbury Township, York County, Pennsylvania.  (2) In the 1800 census a Widow Ziegler is found living near the Andrew Gilbert, Sr. family in Windsor Township, York County, Pennsylvania.  This Ziegler household contains five children born between 1775 and 1799.  It is believed that the female born between 1785 and 1790 is Anna Maria Ziegler.  (3) Baptism sponsor information, at Canadochly Church, for the children of Andrew Gilbert Jr. and his wife Anna Maria indicate a close relationship between the Gilbert and Ziegler families. (4) Naming patterns of the Gilbert children show the name of the 3rd daughter as Anna Maria the same as attributed to the mother and the maternal grandmother, and the 4th daughter named Magdelena the same name attributed to the paternal grandmother.  In addition their first born son was given the name Michael, the name attributed to the maternal grandfather. Thus it is quite likely that Andrew Gilbert, Jr. married Anna Maria Ziegler whose family was living nearby in the years prior to their first child being born in 1803.


Origins of the surname


Origins of the Surname


·       An Introduction to the Name

·       Meaning of the Name

·        History of the Name

·      Early Immigrants to North America

·      More About Surname Meanings & Origins


An Introduction to the Name 

    The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany during the second half of the 12th century, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages.  With the passing of generations and the movement of families moved from place to place many of the original identifying names were altered into some of the versions that we are familiar with today.  Over the centuries, most of our European ancestors accepted their surname as an unchangeable part of their lives.  Thus people rarely changed their surname.  Variations of most surnames were usually the result of an involuntary act such as when a government official wrote a name phonetically or made an error in transcription. 

     Research into the record of this Ziegler family line indicates that the variations, meanings and history of this surname is most likely linked to that area of Europe where German linguistic traditions are commonly found. 


Meaning of the Name

     Most modern family names throughout Europe originated from with of the following circumstances: occupation (i.e., Carpenter, Cooper, Brewer, Mason); locational (Middleton, Sidney, or Ireland) or topographical (i.e. Hill, Brook, Forrest, Dale); nicknames (i.e., Moody Freeholder, Wise, Armstrong); status (i.e. Freeman, Bond, Knight); and acquired ornamental names that were simply made up.

Ziegler is a German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) occupational name for a tiler, The name was derived from the Old German word ziegel (roof-tile) and rendered in ancient documents in the Latin form tegula.  In the Middle Ages the term came to denote bricks as well as tiles, and so in some cases the term may have denoted a brickmaker or bricklayer rather than a tiler.  The Polish form of the Ziegler name CEGIELSKI is a topographic name for someone who lived by the brickworks or who worked in one.


History of the Name

The Ziegler surname was first found in Bavaria, where they were established in the Middle Ages.  A notable Ziegler family from Bavaria are the Barons of Meisenhausen and Rosenberg; other Ziegler’s from this area resided  at Pürgen; Schonstett; Stephanskirchen; as well as a Zeigler of Tittling.  A notable member of the name was Karl Ziegler (1898-1973) the German chemist, born in Helsa, Hessen.


Early Immigrants to North America

     During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries hundreds of thousands of Europeans made the perilous ocean voyage to North America.  For many it was an escape from economic hardship and religious persecution.  For most it was an opportunity for to start over, own their own land, and make a better future for their descendents.  Immigration records show a number of people bearing the name of Ziegler, or one of its variants, as arriving in North America between the 17th and 20th centuries.  Some of these immigrants were:  Andreas Ziegler, who came to Canada in 1783 with the United Empire Loyalists. Of the almost one hundred Zieglers who came to Philadelphia in the 18th century, we find George Phillip in 1753.

     Many German surnames were re-spelled in America because of the close relationship between the English and German languages.  In some cases Germans are able to transform their names to the English form just by dropping a single letter.   After the start of the first World War, Germans in great numbers Anglicized their names in an effort to remove all doubt as to their patriotism. 

Use the following links to find more early immigrants with this surname:

$ Search Immigration Records; or Free Ship’s Passenger lists at


More About Surname Meanings & Origins

German Surnames

 Many German names have their roots in the Germanic middle ages. The process of forming family names began around the year 1100 and extended through 1600. All social classes and demographic strata aided in the development of names. First Names (Rufnamen) identified specific persons. Over time the first name began to be applied to the bearer's whole family. At first through verbal usage, family names (Familiennamen) were later fixed through writing. Until the 17th century, first names played a more important role. The earliest family names derived from the first name of the first bearer (Patronym). Later names derived from the place of dwelling and location of the homestead. If a person of family migrated from one place to another they were identified by the place they came from. Of more recent origin are names derived from the vocation of profession of the first bearer. These names comprise the largest group and the most easily recognizable, for they tell what the first bearer did for a living. Another group are names derived from a physical or other characteristic of the first bearer. Finally, there are names that tell you the state or region a first bearer and his family came from; the age old division in tribes and regions (low German, middle German and upper German) is often reflected in names.

Variations of the surname



Variations of
the Surname


Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to unfold and expand often leading to an overwhelming number of variants.  As such one can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames because in early times, spelling in general and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized.  Later on spellings would change with the branching and movement of families.  The German and Polish spelling variations of this family name include: Ziegler, Zieglauer, Zigler, Zeigler, Ziegelman, Ziegelmann, Zegler, Tsigler, Cigler, Cygler, Cygel, Cygielman, Cihelka and many others.


The complexity of researching records is compounded by the fact that in many cases an ancestors surname may also have been misspelled.  This is especially true when searching census documents. The Soundex system was developed in an effort to assist with identifying spelling variations for a given surname.  Soundex is a method of indexing names in the 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 US Census, and can aid genealogists in their research.  The Soundex Code for Ziegler is Z264.  Other surnames sharing this Soundex Code: Zeigler | Zeisler | Ziegler |


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Family coat of arms

Family Coat of Arms


Fig. 1

Fig. 2

    There are at least 22* known associated arms for Ziegler recorded in Reitstap’s Armorial General. The following additional information has been found regarding the coats-of-arms shown at the left:  Figure 1: was granted to a Ziegler of Prussia.  The shield contains a lion on a blue field and a half-wing on a white field, the crest is a sword.  The red band contains three bundles of arrows;  Figure 2: the black shield has with two white bands each containing three red roses was granted to a Ziegler of Germany;  Figure 3: is a Jewish Ziegler coat of-arms; Figure 4: this most commonly seen coat-of-arms was granted to a Ziegler of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen in 1853.  It shows a silver shield displaying a buck's head.  The crest is made up of two red stag's heads facing each other, each with one antler.

     No Ziegler family mottoes are known. It is unusual for a German Achievement to include a motto.

* Reitstap, J.B., Armorial General, Volume II, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, Maryland, 1965, pages 1142-43.

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

A Coat of Arms is defined as a group of emblems and figures (heraldic bearings) usually arranged on and around a shield and serving as the special insignia of some person, family, or institution.  Except for a few cases, there is really no such thing as a standard "coat of arms" for a surname.  A coat of arms, more properly called an armorial achievement, armorial bearings or often just arms for short, is a design usually granted only to a single person not to an entire family or to a particular surname.  Coats of arms are inheritable property, and they generally descend to male lineal descendents of the original arms grantee.  The rules and traditions regarding Coats of Arms vary from country to country. Therefore a Coat of Arms for an English family would differ from that of a German family even when the surname is the same.  The art of designing, displaying, describing, and recording arms is called heraldry. The use of coats of arms by countries, states, provinces, towns and villages is called civic heraldry.   Some of the more prominent elements incorporated into a  coat of arms are :

Crest - The word crest is often mistakenly applied to a coat of arms.  The crest was a later development arising from the love of pageantry.  Initially the crest consisted of charges painted onto a ridge on top of the helmet.

Wreath or TorseThe torse is a twist of cloth or wreath underneath and part of a crest. Always shown as six twists, the first tincture being the tincture of the field, the second the tincture of the metal, and so on.

Mantling – The mantling is a drapery tied to the helmet above the shield. It forms a backdrop for the shield.

Helm or Helmet - The helmet or helm is situated above the shield and bears the torse and crest. The style of helmet displayed varies according to rank and social status, and these styles developed over time, in step with the development of actual military helmets.

Shield or Arms - The basis of all coats of arms.  At their simplest, arms consist of a shield with a plain field on which appears a geometrical shape or object.  The items appearing on the shield are known as charges.

Motto - The motto was originally a war cry, but later mottoes often expressed some worthy sentiment. It may appear at the top or bottom of a family coat of arms.

Direct Ancestors


Ancestral Lineage


Descendant Register

Generation 1

Michael Ziegler-1 was born on Abt. 1752. He died on Abt. 1793. He married Anna Maria Ziegler  (Nee ?). She was born on Abt. 1752.


Child of Michael Ziegler and Anna Maria Ziegler (Nee ?) is:


2.            i.   Anna Maria ? Ziegler, B: Abt. 1790 in Shrewsbury Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania,


      York County, Pennsylvania ?, M: York County, Pennsylvania ?.


Generation 2

Anna Maria Ziegler?-2(Michael Ziegler-1) was born on Abt. 1790 in Shrewsbury Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania. She died in York County, Pennsylvania?. She married Andrew Gilbert Jr. in York County, Pennsylvania?, son of Andrew (Andreas) Gilbert Sr. and Magdalena Gilbert (Nee ?). He was born on Abt. 1776 in York County, Pennsylvania. He died on Feb 1828 in Lower Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.


Children of Anna Maria Ziegler? and Andrew Gilbert Jr. are:


i.             Elizabeth Gilbert, B: 09 Jan 1803 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.


ii.            Catherine Gilbert, B: 28 Feb 1805 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.


iii.          Anna Maria Gilbert, B: 30 Dec 1806 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.


iv.          Magdalena Gilbert, B: 24 Oct 1808 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania, D:  26 Feb 1890 in Lower Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania, M: Abt. 1830 in York County, Pennsylvania.


v.           Michael Gilbert, B: 01 May 1811 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.


vi.          Henry Gilbert, B: 09 Mar 1813 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania, D: 21 May 1860 in East Prospect, York Co., Pennsylvania, M: 01 May 1838.


vii.         John Gilbert, B: 15 Dec 1815 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.


viii.       Lydia Gilbert, B: 14 Oct 1817 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.


Additional information about our DIRECT ANCESTORS  as well as a complete listing of individuals with this surname may be reviewed by clicking on the following LINK.

DKPS Surname Locator

Free Genealogy Surname Search Help from Google

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Ancestral locations





Researching the locations where my ancestors lived has provided me with valuable evidence needed to fill-in the gaps in my family trees.  It has also led me to many interesting facts that enhance the overall picture of each family group.  The names of states and counties on the following list were derived from the known places where the persons in the “Direct Ancestors” list (see above) were born, married, and / or died.






York County


Use this LINK to find out more about the locations listed above.



Where in the World

are My Ancestors?

Resources which enhance our knowledge of the places inhabited by our ancestors are almost as important as their names. The LINK to the left will take you to Maps, Gazetteers,   and  other  helpful   resources  that



will assist in discovering Ancestral Locations.  These web sites comprise only a small portion of what is available for researchers interested in learning more about the areas in which their ancestors lived.

Source documents




The documents and headstones contained within the “Source Documents Archives” have been located during my research of this family, and used as evidence to prove many of the facts contained within the database of this family’s record.


     Most of these documents can be considered as primary or secondary evidence.  Primary evidence is usually defined as the best available to prove the fact in question, usually in an original document or record.  Secondary evidence is in essence all that evidence which is inferior in its origin to primary evidence. That does not mean secondary evidence is always in error, but there is a greater chance of error.  Examples of this type of evidence would be a copy of an original record, or oral testimony of a record’s contents.  Published genealogies and family histories are also secondary evidence.

     Classifying evidence as either primary or secondary does not tell anything about its accuracy or ultimate value.  This is especially true of secondary evidence.  Thus it is always a good idea to ask the following questions: (1) How far removed from the original is it, (when it is a copy)?;  (2) What was the reason for the creation of the source which contains this evidence?; and (3) Who was responsible for creating this secondary evidence and what interest did they have in its accuracy?

SOURCE:  Greenwood, Val D., The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 2nd edition, Genealogical Publishing  Co., Baltimore, MD 21202, 1990, pgs. 62-63


You are welcome to download any of the documents contained within this archive.

  Should you encounter a problem obtaining a copy you may get in touch with

 us via the contact information found at the end of this page.

Use the following LINK to view the source documents pertaining to this family.


Web resources



Web Resources


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General Surname Resources

Your genealogy research of this surname can be facilitated by use of SURNAME WEB. This website links to the majority of the surname data on the web, as well as to individual family trees, origin and surname meaning if known, and many other related genealogy resources. 


SURNAME FINDER provides easy access to free and commercial resources for 1,731,359 surnames. On each surname specific "finder" page, you can search a variety of online databases all pre-programmed with your surname.


Use ALL SURNAMES GENEALOGY to get access to find your surname resources .  There are almost 1300 links in this directory.


Additional Sites That We Recommend

Linkpendium Surnames - Web sites, obituaries, biographies, and other material specific to a surname.

Cyndi's List - Surnames, Family Associations & Family Newsletters Index - Sites or resources dedicated to specific, individual family surnames.

Free Genealogy Search Help for Google - This free genealogy site will help you use Google™ for your research. It will create a series of different searches using tips or "tricks" that will likely improve your results. The different searches will give you many different ways of using Google to find ancestry information on the Internet. - Family History and Genealogy Records - The largest collection of free family history, family tree and genealogy records in the world.

Top Genealogical Websites - These mighty roots resources compiled by “Family Tree Magazine”, will give you the power to bust through research brick walls and find answers about your ancestors—all from your home computer.

SurnameDB Free database of surname meanings - This site SurnameDB.Com contains a large FREE to access database (almost 50,000 surnames) on the history and meaning of family last names.




The following Link will take you to our library of genealogy reference books.   Here you will find bibliographies, family histories and books about names.  In addition, there are texts that pertain to ethnic and religion groups, history, geography as well as other books that will assist you with your research.


 Research Library – Table of Contents


Images gallery


Family Images

During my research I have collected images and photographs that are of general interest to a particular family.  Some of them are presented on this website because I believe they tend to provide the reader with additional information which may aid in the understanding of our ancestors past lives.


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Contact Information



Snail Mail:

889 Dante Ct.
Mantua, NJ 08051



Snail Mail:

889 Dante Ct.
Mantua, NJ 08051