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Surname Schenck - Meaning and Origin

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Schenck: What does the surname Schenck mean?

The surname Schenck originates from Germany and Netherlands, and it is derived from the Middle High German word "schincken" which means to "pour out" or "serve". So, it is believed to have been an occupational surname for a tavern server or someone who poured liquor. Sometimes, "Schincke" was also used to refer to a jug or a pitcher, adding further credence to this interpretation. The name has several variants including Schenk, van den Schenck, and Schencken. As with many surnames, geographical and regional factors led to the creation of these different versions. While Schenck is not a common last name in the United States, it has a rich history of notable people from politicians to artists, indicating its influence and longevity. Despite the passage of time, it retains its connection to its homeland.

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Schenck: Where does the name Schenck come from?

The last name Schenck is a common German surname and is most commonly found in countries with strong German heritage. In the United States, Schenck is most commonly found in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, Illinois, Michigan and North Carolina. These states were all major destinations for German immigrants in the 1800’s.

In the German speaking countries, including Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Luxembourg, Schenck is found in much smaller numbers. It is still seen in some areas, especially in the south and east of the region. In 2013, there were 172 people with the name Schenck in Luxembourg, and 570 people in both Germany and Switzerland combined.

Recently, the name Schenck has become increasingly popular in countries outside traditional German heritage areas. Examples of this include France, Russia, and Mexico, all of which have seen increases in people bearing this name.

Overall, the name Schenck is found throughout the world with varying degrees of frequency. It remains one of the more commonly seen German surnames in countries where German ancestry is strong, such as the United States and Luxembourg. It is also slowly growing in popularity in countries such as France, Russia, and Mexico.

Variations of the surname Schenck

The surname Schenck is an old German variant of Schäncke, a patronymic name from an original personal name. Schäncke is derived from a nickname meaning “snout” or “beak”. Variants of this surname include Schenk, Scheck, Schänck, Schaenck, Schanke, Schanck and Schank.

During the 19th century, when mass emigration occurred, many spelling variants of the Schenck surname developed. In the United States, variants Schenk, Schenck, Scherck and Shaynk developed, among others.

In America, Schencks have remained somewhat of a tight-knit clan, tracing their lineages all the way back to their German roots. One of the earliest recorded incarnations of this surname was Conrad Schanc, who was named in the Viener Stadtbuch in 1506. Later incarnations of this surname included Johannes Schenck, who was baptized in 1736 in Leimenskirche, and Joseph Schenck, who was born in 1869 in Germany.

In modern times, the surname Schenck has spread across the English-speaking world. Common spellings of this surname include Schenk, Shenk, Shink, Schank and Schink. Additional surnames that are sometimes considered variants of this surname include Couch, Senk, Shock, Shenke and Shonk.

Aside from the German language, the Schenck surname is also associated with countries where German is spoken, like Austria and Switzerland, as well as Jewish families who spell the surname Sheynk or Shoynk.

Famous people with the name Schenck

  • Robert Schenck, American Civil War General and politician.
  • Anna Elizabeth Schenck, social activist, abolitionist, and first woman to vote in a Michigan election.
  • Carl Schenck, German engineer and forestry pioneer.
  • Maximilian Schenck, German architect.
  • Robert Schenck Jr., American physicist and inventor.
  • August Schenck, German pianist and composer.
  • Friedrich Schönck, German/Bavarian folklorist.
  • Curt Schenck, German sculptor and art historian.
  • Johannes Schenck, Dutch musician, composer, organist, and teacher.
  • Franz Heinrich Schenck, Austrian landscape painter and draftsman.
  • Jay Schenck, American professional golfer.
  • Maichail Schenck, Dutch lawyer and politician.
  • Christopher Schenck, Reader in Medical Law at Durham University.
  • Diana Schenck, American professional wrestler.
  • Mac Schenck, American figure skater.
  • David Schenck, American Middle Tennessee business leader.
  • Charles Schenck, U.S. soldier and Medal of Honor recipient.
  • Amelia Schenck, Swiss actress and film director.
  • Wolfgang Adam Schenck, German classical scholar and philologist.
  • Alfred Schenck, German botanist and mycologist.

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