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Schenck Name Study

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
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Surnames/tags: Schenck Schenk Shank
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About the Project

The Schenck Name Study project serves as a collaborative platform to collect information on the Schenck name. The hope is that other researchers like you will join the study to help make it a valuable reference point for other genealogists who are researching or have an interest in the Schenck name.

As a One Name Study, this project is not limited to persons who are related biologically. Individual studies can be used to branch out the research into specific methods and areas of interest, such as geographically (Germany Schencks), by time period (18th Century Schencks), or by topic (Schenck DNA, Schenck Occupations, Schenck Statistics). These studies may also include a number of family branches which have no immediate link with each other. Some researchers may even be motivated to go beyond the profile identification and research stage to compile fully sourced, single-family histories of some of the families they discover through this name study project.

Origin and Etymology

Related Surnames and Surname Variants

Although the name usually is "Schenck" in the oldest known ancestors of any given lineage, the name is prone to simplify. In German-speaking countries and the Netherlands, the final "c" is frequently dropped, resulting in Schenk, and some lineages begin with that spelling. While the former change also does take place among immigrants to the United States from these countries, their descendants may further anglicize the name, resulting in Shenk or more commonly, Shank. Schanck, Schank, and Shanks are anglicized variants that also appear. Because of Germany's shared border with French, gallicized forms of Schenck also occur, mainly Shink and Chinque.

How to Join

To join the Schenck Name Study, first start out by browsing our current research pages to see if there is a specific study ongoing that fits your interests. If so, feel free to add your name to the Membership list below, post an introduction comment on the specific team page, and then dive right in!

If a research page does not yet exist for your particular area of interest, please contact the Name Study Coordinator: Kai Schenck for assistance.

... ... ... is a member of the Schenck Name Study Project.

Once you are ready to go, you can also show your project affiliation with the ONS Member Sticker:



There are several known Schenck lineages, and this list will continue to expand as more lineages are catalogued. European Schenck lineages that do not have American descendants, especially, are poorly catalogued on WikiTree. The lineages here will have two people listed: the common ancestor of all lines known to have left descendants, and the earliest known person. The lineages listed here are only those with a common ancestor that was born before 1700. The earliest known ancestor is the earliest known Schenck of that lineage. Generally, there is less known about these people than the common ancestor, and as such information on them is often less reliable. If this person is the same as the common ancestor, only they will be listed.

  • Ulrich Schenk b. 1564 in Eggiwil, Switzerland. Earliest known ancestor: Hans Schenk b. about 1470 in Röthenbach, Bern, Switzerland.

    Ulrich Schenk's family were Swiss anabaptists. In addition to persisting in Switzerland, several of his descendants fled to the Palatinate, populating it after the Thirty Years' War and the War of the Reunions. Several of the children of Michael Schenk, of one of Ulrich's grandsons, immigrated to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His descendants generally anglicized their name to "Shank," and he is the common ancestor of all descendants of Mennonite Shanks from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
  • Marten Schenck b. about 1600 in the Nederlands.

    The following section was taken from his Wikitree profile: Martin Schenck was the father of three siblings who immigrated to New Amsterdam around 1650. The father of these three siblings has often been confused with Martin Pieterse Schenck van Nydeck, who appears to have a royal ancestry. This confusion goes back to "research" by the unreliable Col. Jhr. W.F.G.L. van der Dussen, "who was a rather well-known genealogist in the Netherlands in the last half of the 19th century... no scientific Dutch genealogist of today accepts Col. van der Dussen's dictums without verification at the hand of the original records."


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