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Surname Zachaeus - Meaning and Origin

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Zachaeus: What does the surname Zachaeus mean?

The last name Zachaeus is derived from the biblical figure of the same name, mentioned in the gospel of Luke. Zacchaeus was a tax collector and chief publican (a high-ranking tax collector) in Jericho during the time of Jesus. Zacchaeus was an unpopular figure in his local community because of the way he collected oppressive taxes, but when Jesus visited Jericho, Zacchaeus was the one who climbed a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus and asked to be forgiven for his past sins.

Since then, the name Zachaeus has been adopted by many cultures and nations as a surname. It is popular with people across Europe and has been in the United States since the 1800s. In Greek, the name literally translates to “pure one” and the Hebrew version (Zikri, Zaky, Zakai, and Zaki) carries the thought that one is remembered.

For those who take this last name, it likely symbolizes a commitment of faith and honoring of the work of God. The biblical story of Zacchaeus is a reminder to everyone to show mercy to those who may have done wrong and to forgive them so that the path to righteousness is available. It can also speak to a spirit of resilience in life changes and hardships, as Zacchaeus pivoted from a less-reputable life to a recognized leader among the people.

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Zachaeus: Where does the name Zachaeus come from?

The last name Zachaeus is most commonly found in the United States, primarily in the South, followed by the Midwest and the Northeast. It is believed to have been brought to the US from Germany, where it is also relatively common. The surname Zachaeus is derived from the Hebrew name “Zachai”, which means “remembered”. The first record of the Zachaeus name in the United States was in 1845, when Johann Zachaeus arrived in Philadelphia from Germany.

The Zachaeus family spread out across the US, and can be found in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. Over time, the family has diversified, with various individuals and families bearing slightly different spellings such as Tacket, Zachary, Sachau, and Zockai.

There is also a small population of Zachaeus family members in Canada, primarily concentrated in Ontario. Outside of North America, the surname is most commonly found in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Today, the Zachaeus surname is fairly rare. According to federal data, there are only about 3,000 individuals living in the US with the name Zachaeus. Despite its small population, Zachaeus family members have left their mark – among them a successful businessman and a decorated 19th century US Army colonel. The Zachaeus surname is likely to remain a rarity in the years to come, but its bearer’s name will always be remembered.

Variations of the surname Zachaeus

The surname Zachaeus is a typical Jewish surnames found in the Bible. It is also known by its many variants. These include Zacchaeus, Zacheus, Zackaeus, Zachaios, Sachaeus, Sachaios, and Sakaios. The name Zechariah and Zacharias are also related to the same etymological origin: ‘God remembered’.

The surname is said to have Germanic origin as well, from the old German name 'Zocharius', which is derived from the element "zoh" which means "boar". This old German name was brought to the British Isles by the Normans during the 12th century.

Variant spellings can be found as Zachee, Zachey, Zacchie, Zachey, Zachei, Zacki, Zackey and Zakki. Other surnames of similar origin include Zech, Zeck, Zeckt, Zecht, Zile and Zirzow.

In Jewish culture, the name is often shortened to 'Zac', while in Slavic cultures it is known as 'Zacko', 'Zachka' or 'Zajko'. Some other surnames of a similar origin include 'Zachar', 'Zackar', 'Zakin', 'Zakach' and the Ukrainian 'Zhynevych'.

The name has also been adopted as a given name by many people, such as the jazz musician and artist, Zachary Smith. It is interesting to note that Zachaeus appears in the Bible, in the book of Luke 19:2. In the account, it is written that Jesus kindly responds to a tax collector called "Zacchaeus" – making this one of the few stories in the Bible in which a tax collector is mentioned positively!

Famous people with the name Zachaeus

  • Greg Začek, former professional soccer player
  • Andrej Začek, Slovan Bratislava ice hockey goaltender
  • Valdemar Začek, Norwegian gymnast
  • Justus Začek, Swiss professional snowboarder
  • Herbert Začek, former Czechoslovakian discus thrower
  • Galen Začek, American attorney who litigated the landmark case, Reed v. Reed
  • Perrine Dominique Claire Začek, French actress
  • Julius Začek, German veterinarian and animal welfare activist
  • Simon Začek, Czech actor and director
  • Kazimierz Začek, Polish politician and diplomat

Other surnames

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