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By perusing from the beginning the oldest historical documents dealing with genealogy, one finds out very quickly that there are many variations of the name Zinkgräf. At the beginning of the 14th century we already find in citizens books located in Frankfurt the names Zinggreffe (1362 and 1370), Cinggreffe (1377), Czinggreve (1387) and Zinggrave (1421).
In documents located at Heidelberg University we find the names Cecravius (1389), Centgrave (1396) and Czenkgref (1398). In the second half of the 15th century we find in documents located at the University of Leipzig the names Czenggroffe or Czenggraffe (1468), Tzengraff (1478), Zcenntgraff (1487), Centgrave (1495), Zcengkgraf (1497) and Zcengraff (1505) and finally at the University of Erfurt the names Zinckgrave (1494) and Zinckgräff (1565).

Although until today none of these persons can be added to our family’s history, all 75 different spellings apparently belong to our family. The great variety of names stems from an era, where there was no common writing system in place and some of these names were recorded in city halls or churches according to the sounding out of the names. Sometimes we can find in one document different spellings of the name of the same person.

The most frequent variations of the name are:

  • Zinckgräff (Simmern/Hunsrück, Neustadt an der Weinstraße and Heidelberg 16th/17th century)
  • Zincgref (Heidelberg, 16th/17th century)
  • Zinckgräf, Zinckgraf and Zinkgraf (Heidelberg and Neustadt an der Weinstraße, from the 17th century on)
  • Zinkgräf (Weinheim an der Bergstraße, from the 18th century on).

Although the spellings Zentgraf and Zintgraf appear from time to time in the family history, until now no relationship can established with the present carriers of these names. Neither is there any indication of a family relationship to the Zickgraf. Despite the lack of connection with these names, there is no doubt that the origin of these names date back to the occupation "Zentgraf". In addition, the different spellings can be explained through the different dialects spoken in the different geographic regions.

 

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