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OTHER FORMS: zener, zenere, zenner, zahner, zihner, zenir, zennar, zenera, zerene, zehender,, Zehnten, Zehenden, Zehnder, zender, Zentner, Zenter, Zehntner
CONTRIBUTOR: anonymous on 5/12/2017
Meaning & History
(chiefly Bavaria, Austria, Switzerland, and Württemberg): occupational name for an official responsible for collecting, on behalf of the lord of the manor, tithes of agricultural produce owed as rent.
The surname Zehner was first found in the Austrian provinces of Tyrol and Styria, where this family name became a prominent contributor to the development of the district since mediaeval times. Prominent in social affairs, the name became an integral part of that turbulent region as it emerged to form alliances with other families within the Feudal System and the nation. Chronicles first mention Heinrich Zehender of Buehl in 1265, Lucz Zehender of Wuerzburg, Franconia, in 1409, Johan Zener (Zehender) of Augsburg, Bavaria, in 1498, and Maertl der Zehentner of Tyrol in 1380.