Family history  

The earliest indications in terms of the family can be found in the citizens books of the city of Frankfurt am Main, which was called a free city from 1375 on. In the year 1463 a "Henne Zinckgreve junior" from Bürgel near Offenbach became a citizen, because he married a woman from Frankfurt. When 10 years later a Johannes Zinggrafe from Bürgel became a citizen through marriage, this could be "Henne senior", i.e. the father, who as a widower married a second time.

More is known about Philipp Zentcrafe (*1482) Henne's the younger son. He was taken hostage at the age of 11 due to a permanent conflict between representatives of the lower nobility and the city of Frankfurt. His father could not or did not want to pay the ransom demand. As a result through the intervention of the Bishop of Würzburg and orders of King Maximilian he was freed after one year.
Philipp became a citizen of Frankfurt in 1502 and is listed in the master list of the goldsmith guild in 1511. In 1505 he married Gertrud (Gele) Will(ius) of Friedberg and lived with her in the Klappergasse.

After Philipp's death, before March 29th 1535, his fortune was divided among the children Lorenz, Katharina, Johanngin and Elsgin, whereas Nicolaus Willius, mother's brother, became the guardian of the two last named younger children.

Lorenz Zinkgreve was born before 1508 to Philipp Zentgrafe. He came from an established Frankfurt family and was the supervisor of the mint of Emperor Maximilian II and later of the Palatine Count Johann and his sons. He and his wife from Meisenheim produced the following children:

  1. Laurentius or Lorenz II (*Simmern 08.01.1541 † Heidelberg 25.06.1610)
  2. Johann Eberhardt (*Meisenheim about 1550 † about 1616)
  3. Johann Philipp (*Meisenheim about 1554 † Kaub 30.10.1614)
  4. Otilia (*Simmern before 1560 † Straßburg after 1626)
  5. Eleonore (*Simmern about 1560).

An overview of the beginning of the Palatinate/Simmern family and a family tree of Laurentius Zinckgräff can be found under family tree.
After having completed studies in Straßburg, Wittenberg, Leuwen, and Paris Laurentius Zinckgräff obtained his PhD in law in Orleans and was accepted as a councilor under the Elector Friedrich III at the Palatine court in Heidelberg. Two years later he was asked by the reformed Elector Friedrich to accompany his son the Prince Christoph and his troops as a war councilor on their way to the Netherlands to support Wilhelm I of Orange. During the Mookerheide battle the Netherland side was defeated and two brothers of Wilhelm I of Orange, the Counts Ludwig and Heinrich of Nassau, as well as Prince Christoph were killed.

Today, only a relief on the front wall and a commemorative plaque inside the old St. Joris Church in Heumen near Nijmegen in the Dutch province Gelderland remind us of the Nassau Counts.
Despite these results Laurentius was accepted again by the elector in Heidelberg, in his former position, which he fulfilled loyally and successfully until his death. Although he retained his Calvinist faith under the Lutheran Elector Ludwig VI, he kept his position and received an increase in salary.

Laurentius Zinckgräff died 1610 and his widow survived him by ten years. The only surviving child, Julius Wilhelm Zincgref was born in the Augustinergasse in Heidelberg. He worked as a lawyer, writer, poet and collector of famous sayings uttered by historical personalities.
The Laurentius or Simmern line died out in 1738 in Dillenburg with Julius Wilhelm II Zinckgräff, who worked as the director of the chancellery for the Nassau-Siegen and later for the Nassau-Dillenburg Prince.

Little is known so far about Johann Eberhardt Zinckgräff.

Johann Philipp Zinckgräff remained loyal to his father's profession, became a mint-master and later councilman in Simmern. When the Rhein Count Otto von Kirn introduced him in 1594 as the new mint-master, he mentioned not only that Philipp Zinckgräff was the "mint-master of Duke Reichard", but also that he descends from a family near Colmar/Alsatia. This information could indicate that the first Zinckgreve, who came from Bürgel to Frankfurt were indeed from the Alsatian region.

Johann Philipp Zinckgräff was married twice. From this first marriage to Sophia N.N. descended Johannes Zinckgräf (*1576), the founder of the Neustadt line, as well as Anna Maria Zinckgräfin who married the widowed Johann Leonhard Weidner, school friend and biographer of her uncle, Julius Wilhelm Zincgref. Her daughter Sibilla Liesbeth married Reijnier van Hattem from Neder-Betuwe in the Netherlands.
From the second marriage with Anna Driss a son Johann Wolf(gang) Zinckgräff (*about 1612) was born, who is known as the founder of the Weinheim line and also the Heidelberg line of the family.
Johann Philipp Zinckgräff died in 1614 in Kaub, the hometown of his second wife. He was buried there as a citizen of Simmern.

Otilia Zinckgräff married on the 20th Sunday after Trinitatis in 1577 in the church St. Thomas in Straßburg the goldsmith Peter Dreier and still lived there in 1626 as a widow, as we know from letters written by Julius Wilhelm Zincgref.

Eleonore Zinckgräff married in 1588 Christoph Schertz of Weigelsdorf in Silesia. She gave birth to Karl von Schertz, who was elevated to the ranks of the nobility as a Princely Councilor (*1653) and was therefore ranked as an ancestor of the European high nobility.

The continuation of the family history can be found under the Simmern line, the Neustadt line, the Weinheim line and the Heidelberg line and detailed under 'Pedigree'.

Adam, M.    Vitae Germanorum Iureconsultorum et Politicorum, Heidelbergae 1620, p. 428-39
Andernacht D. und Stamm O.   Die Bürgerbücher der Reichsstadt Frankfurt 1311-1400, Frankfurt/M. 1955
Andernacht D. und Berger E.   Die Bürgerbücher der Reichsstadt Frankfurt 1401-1470, Frankfurt/M. 1978
Felke, G.   Die Münzen der Herzöge von Simmern, Simmern 1981
Friederichs, H. F.   Kleine Mitteilungen in “Frankfurt und die Welt“ in der Hess. Familienkunde Bd. 5 (1960/61) S. 277-79
Koerner, B.   Deutsches Geschlechterbuch 58. Bd. und Kurpfälzisches Geschlechterbuch 1. Bd., Görlitz 1928
Lück, Alfred   Siegerland und Nederland, Zweite Auflage, Siegen 1981
Pallmann, H.   Sigmund Feyerabend, sein Leben und seine geschäftlichen Verbindungen, aus: Archiv für Frankfurts Geschichte und Kunst, 7. Band S. 231, Frankfurt/M. 1881
Schnorr von Carolsfeld   F.  Julius Wilhelm Zincgrefs Leben und Schriften, in Archiv für Litteraturgeschichte,
VIII. Bd. S. 1 - 58 und S. 446 - 490 (1879)
Wagner, K.    Simmern im Wandel der Zeiten, Simmern 1930 und unveränderter Nachdruck Argenthal 1995
Zülch, W. K.   Frankfurter Künstler 1223-1700, Frankfurt/M. 1935

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