The Family Ziefle from the Black Forest

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The Name.



The name Zifflin already turns up about 1459/1460 in Reinerzau and about 1564 in Alpirsbach and Schömberg. In the course of time there are many variations and spellings: Ziefle, Zieffle, Zifelin, Ziffel, Ziffle, Zifflen, Zifflin, Zifle, Ziflen, Ziflin, Zifloin, Zuefle, Züfle, Züffle, Züfflin, Züflin, Zyfelin, Zyflin.

Other, similar sounding names like e.g. Züberlin, Zipplin, Zypplin give rise to some speculations, but the relationship could not be proved yet. Such forms of names can be earliest found today having its origins in the naturalization of emigrants - e.g. to the USA (e.g. Zuflo, Ziflo, Ziefele, Zifler, Zuepfle, Zueffe).

Till today the origin of the name Ziefle with all the variations could not pe proofed definitely. There are several interpretations.

The publication of the coat of arms by Werner H. Ziefle [1] mentions one interpration: the name derives from onion (in Latin:.cepa). In Alsace (Weißenburg) until today the colloquial speech for the onion is named Zifel.

This interpretation is mentioned as well from BERGER/ETTER [2]. According to them the old German words Zwivel, Zwibolle stand for onion: the residents of Eßlingen are till today called the "Zwiebel". There are other interpretations: the old german word Zwivel stands as well for "Zweifel, Wankelmut" (doubt); an occurrence about the year 1200 in Cologne is mentioned Henrici Zwivils/Zwivels.

According to KAPFF [3] Züfle as well as Ziefle means the one with lingering illness. In his book of names LINNARTZ [4] traces the name Züfle to the first name Sigfried. In the monograph about Schernbach [5] the name Ziefle is be traced back via Züfle, Zübler, Zubermann, Kübler to Küfer (cooper).


[1] Pfälzer Familien- und Wappenkunde, 1970 / 14.
[2] BERGER, Fritz / ETTER, Otto R., Die Familiennamen der Reichsstadt Eßlingen im Mittelalter. In: Eßlinger Studien, hrsg. vom Kulturamt der Stadt Eßlingen am Neckar, Bd. 7, 1961.
[3] KAPFF, Rud., Schwäbische Geschlechternamen, Stuttgart 1927.
[4] LINNARTZ, Dr. K., Unsere Familiennamen. Band II. Ferd. Dümmlers Verlag: Bonn, Hannover, Hamburg. 3. Aufl. 1958.
[5] Unser Schernbach. Der lieben Heimat gewidmet von Johannes Keppler (Gewerbeschullehrer in Kirchheim u.T.). Selbstverlag Kirchheim 1938.


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