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Surname Zacharias - Meaning and Origin

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Exploring My Roots and the Resilient History of Zacharias through the iGENEA DNA Test

Embarking on the iGENEA DNA test journey brought realizations and surprises. The surname Zacharias, once just a family name, unfolded as a symbol of rich, cultural, and religious heritage, tracing back to ancient Israelites. The test didn't just uncover my Jewish roots, but also the resilient, scholarly lineage that our family holds, sparking an unforeseen pride and connection to our surname and ancestry.

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Zacharias: What does the surname Zacharias mean?

The surname Zacharias originated from the Hebrew name Zechariah, which roughly translates to “remembered by God” or “God is recalled”. Zacharias is an ancient and common name used throughout the centuries as a personal and even royal name for Jewish males. The name is common in Europe, especially in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, as well as across Eastern Europe. It is the name of many biblical figures, including prophet Zechariah and the father of Jesus, St. Joseph.

Throughout the centuries the last name Zacharias has been associated with strength, courage, and observance of traditional practices. Those with the name Zacharias have contributed to culture by way of creativity, leadership, and often also a sense of social justice.

In many countries the Zacharias name is viewed as a symbol of honor and respect. Many famous Zacharias ancestors are historically remembered for their achievements in the military, business, education, and architecture. Some of them include Johannes Zacharias (1770–1820), a German linguist and author; Johannes Zacharias Poulsen (1841–1917), a Danish merchant and philanthropist; and Christoph Zacharias Lorenz (1791–1867), a German inventor, engineer, and businessman.

Today there are many individuals of the Zacharias name from Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Poland, and elsewhere, all of whom carry the proud legacy of the Zacharias name. They carry with them a long history of influence, perseverance, and success.

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Zacharias: Where does the name Zacharias come from?

Today, the last name Zacharias is most commonly seen in the countries of Greece and Cyprus. This is likely due to the fact that Zacharias is a name of Greek origin, stemming from the name Zachariah.

The name Zacharias is one of the most popular names in Greece, and is believed to have become popular there in the 15th century. Famous people who have held the name Zacharias include the Greek tennis player Eleni Zachariadou, a player who represented Greece in the Fed Cup.

Outside of Greece, the Zacharias surname is less common. It still appears in countries such as Germany and Sweden, though, where it is of Germanic or Scandinavian origin. In the United Kingdom, it is most commonly seen amongst families of Greek Cypriot or Greek descent.

In the United States, the name Zacharias is heavily concentrated in states such as Florida, New York and Michigan. It is also most common among those of Greek, Cypriot, German and Swedish descendent. Statistically, in the United States the name appears most often amongst those of Hispanic origin.

At present, the Zacharias name is most often seen in the Mediterranean countries, India, Germany, Sweden and the United States.

Variations of the surname Zacharias

The surname Zacharias is of English and German origin, derived from the name Zachary; meaning 'God remembers' or 'God has remembered'. Common variants and spellings of Zacharias are Zaccaria, Zaccarini, Zachariadis, Zackarias, Zakar, Zaccarini, Zacarias, Zacher, and Zakaria.

The name Zacharias can also be found as Americanized spellings such as Sanchas, Sanchez, Sahagun, Zechariah, Chicas, Xecare, and Sachar. Other surnames derived from this included Zwack, Zachariasz, Zechar, Sequeira, and Sagar.

In other regions, variations have been adapted to local dialects, such as Čáča in the Czech language, Čača in Serbian and Croatian, and Çeki in Turkish. Some other names of the same origin are Xecāriā in Hindi and Persian, and Zacarias in Portuguese.

Since the Middle Ages, official documents have adopted simplified versions of names for easy record-keeping, so some of the variants of the name Zacharias may have emerged out of these changes. For example, the name Zaccaria appeared as a surname in medieval Italy, which was derived from the Latin version of the name Zacharias.

Famous people with the name Zacharias

  • Zacharias Kunuk: Canadian filmmaker of Inuit (Inuktitut) descent. Best known for his acclaimed 2001 feature Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner).
  • Carsten Zacharias: German Skeleton racer who finished 4th at the 2011 FIBT World Championships in Königssee, and competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
  • Kirk Zacharias: American professional golfer and former PGA Tour professional.
  • Mandla Zacharias Masango: South African soccer player who previously played for Bidvest Wits, Chippa United F.C. and Mamelodi Sundowns F.C.
  • Rufus Allegra Zacharias: Australian competitive swimmer and former national freestyle record-holder.
  • Myron Zacharias: American World War II flying ace who scored seven victories while with the U.S. Army Air Forces.
  • Johann Enoch Zacharias: German composer and organist who composed around 500 partly preserved works.
  • Larisa Zacharias: Former Soviet speed skater who participated in the long track qualification round for the 1972 Winter Olympics.
  • Gordon Zacharias: Canadian professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League.
  • Tobias Zacharias: German Triple jumper who took part in the 2006 European Athletics Championships.

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