Ziegler Surname Genealogy

Ziegler is a German occupational name for a brickmaker
or bricklayer, derived from the German ziegel,
meaning originally “roof tile” and later “brick,” and from ziegelbrenner
meaning brickmaker.
Ziegler and Zeigler
have been
the spellings in America. Ziegler can
also be a Jewish name

Select Ziegler Resources on

Ziegler Ancestry

Although the Ziegler name is quite common throughout
Germany, it has been most frequently found in the south and southwest
of the
country, in particular in Bavaria.

There was an early reference to Ulreich der
Zigler in the town of Eger on the border between Bavaria and Bohemia in
1340. The theologian and cartographer
Ziegler was born at Landau in Bavaria in 1470; while Margarethe
Ziegler, the
mother of the theologian Martin Luther, was born at Neustadt in Bavaria
1463. And a noble Ziegler family held estates in the Bavarian
cities of
Noerdlingen, Nuremburg and Munich.

The Ziegler numbers are around 65,000 in
Germany today, with an additional 5,000 in Switzerland and 4,000 in

America. Pennsylvania provided
the first landing
point. Indeed, even by the time of the
1840 census, Pennsylvania accounted for 60% of all the Zieglers and
Zeiglers in

Pennsylvania. Michael Ziegler
appeared on “a list of all the poor Germans lately come over from the
Palatinate taken on May 6, 1709.” He was
recorded as an illiterate 25-year-old cloth and linen weaver who was
single and
Lutheran. He and later his son Andreas
prominent Mennonite preachers at Skippack in Montgomery county.

Abraham Ziegler,
a great grandson of immigrant Michael, moved to Butler county in 1815
where he
had purchased the village of Harmony and established a Mennonite
there. A branch of the family settled in
Marlborough township in Montgomery county where they called themselves
and developed Zeigler’s Apple Cider.

George Philip Ziegler came with his family from Baden
to Pennsylvania in 1727 and settled to farm in York county:

  • his
    son Johann Jacob
    was briefly captured and imprisoned during a territorial dispute
    Pennsylvania and Maryland in 1736.
  • while
    Johann Philip later (befitting his Ziegler
    name) was a pioneer in the brick-making trade in York.

Ziegler line –
tracing fourteen generations, beginning with the earlier family history
Germany and continuing with later Zieglers in the Midwest – was covered
Allen Ziegler’s 2010 book
Hans Georg Ziegler’s Progress.

Another early Ziegler
settler in York county was Nicholas Ziegler who arrived in 1748 and
made his
home in Codorus township. His probable
grandson Peter Ziegler, born around 1760, is considered the progenitor
of the
Ziegler family which held their family reunion in Pennsylvania in 1933
which more than two hundred descendants attended).
John Ziegler’s 1935 book Ziegler Genealogy dealt
with this family’s history.

Philip Ziegler
from Bern in Switzerland came with his family in 1746 and settled in a
near Rehersburg in Berks county. There
were five generations of Zieglers living in the family homestead where
in the
19th century they constructed a Ziegler meetinghouse.
Here the reference is Jesse Ziegler’s 1906
book The Ziegler Family Record.

Elsewhere. Some Ziegler lines started
in Pennsylvania
but moved elsewhere.

David Ziegler, for instance, was a professional soldier who
arrived from Germany in 1775 and fought in the Revolutionary War. After the war he was a captain in the US army
and served on the Ohio valley frontier.
He settled in Cincinnati and was its mayor in 1802.
Cincinnati’s Ziegler Park on Sycamore Street was named
after him.

William Ziegler was born in Beaver county in
1843 but moved to Iowa when he was a small boy.
He went to New York where he became an agent and then a
shareholder of
the Royal Chemical Company. In 1899 he
combined three baking companies, including the Royal Chemical Company,
to form
the new Royal Baking Powder Corporation.

John Ziegler from York county was a
Union doctor during the Civil War. His
line extended to Maryland and to the Midwest before John Bosley Ziegler
returned to Pennsylvania and pioneered
the use of anabolic steroids
to weightlifters in the late

Some Zieglers of course did not come via
Pennsylvania. George Ziegler from Bavaria, for instance, went to
Wisconsin with
his family in 1845 and later, in 1861, joined a family candy-making
business in
Milwaukee. He became its sole owner in
1874 and the company prospered under him and his son Frank. The George Ziegler Company continued in
operation until 1972.

Johannes Ziegler from Baden arrived in New York in
1857 and decided to follow the Gold Rush to California.
This did not work out. So instead
he settled to farm at a German
community in Saginaw county, Michigan.
His descendants are still farming at the original Tuscola Road
that Johannes bought.

Zeiglers in South Carolina and Alabama.
David Zeigler had come with his large family to
South Carolina from Wurttemburg in 1753 and was among the founders of
Orangeburg. Many of his descendants
in the Orangeburg district. Some went by
the Seigler name.

But a line from Jacob Zeigler, a Revolutionary War veteran who had
received a land grant in what is now Elmore county in Alabama, moved
there in
the late 1810’s.

numbers of the Zeigler family from Orangeburg, together
with other settler families, followed the old Federal road into what
Alabama territory in a train of more than sixty wagons with an army

Jacob’s son William operated a
cotton plantation at Robinson Springs
His house, built around 1825, remained with the family until
2005 (it
has recently been torn down). William
also helped found the Robinson Springs Methodist church where nine
of Zeiglers have been christened.

By the early 1900’s the
Zeiglers were very numerous in the area.

“There were so many Zeiglers by the name
of William that it was difficult to keep up with them – William
Zeigler, Billy
Zeigler, ‘Sawmill’ Billy Zeigler, Will Zeigler, and ‘Leatherhead’ Will
Zeigler. They were all what we might call
characters. There also was also the family of Tom Zeigler and, on the
side of the road, the family of Judge Zeigler and his wife Belle.”

Various Zieglers from Baden made the journey from Germany to
farm in
Waterloo County, Ontario in the 1840’s.
The first to arrive was probably Jacob Ziegler who came with his
Elizabeth in 1844. John D. Ziegler was
there by 1845 and Henry and his wife Catherine by 1848.
Moses Ziegler, grandson of Jacob, was born
there in 1868. He was a Mennonite and
farmed in Arran township, Bruce county.

Gustav Frederick Ziegler was first
recorded in Didsbury in the 1880’s when German and Jewish immigrants
coming to this middle-class area of south Manchester.

His son Colin Louis Ziegler had
a distinguished
World War One record, before retiring to his new home at Picket Orchard
in the
New Forest after the war. He and his
wife Dora raised two sons there, Oliver and Philip.
Philip Ziegler joined the Foreign
Office. He later became a well-known
historian and biographer.

Ziegler Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Ziegler Names

Calvin Ziegler
was a German-American poet who flourished in the
late 1800’s. He wrote in his native
Pennsylvania Dutch and did much to spur a revival in Pennsylvania Dutch

John Ziegler
was the American physician who pioneered
the use of the anabolic steroid Dianabol for weightlifters that was
released in

is a distinguished English historian and

Select Zieglers Today

  • 16,000 in America (most numerous in Pennsylvania)
  • 1,000 elsewhere (most numerous in UK)




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