FACT: in old french, "flick" means "the one who can repair anything"?
Welcome to the Flick Genealogy website!
UPDATE: Some stunning new information has been found by Peter Jung, a distant
cousin/researcher in Germany. This information links the two major Flick lines in America (Philip Heinrich
and Gerlach Paul) and essentially creates one giant family tree out of the two.
Click here to see this new information.
German/Swiss spelling variations of this family name include: Flickinger, Flick, Flicker,
Fluecker, Flücker, Flicken, Fluekk, Flükk, Fluek, Flük, Fluekinger, Flükinger, Fluck,
Flucker and many more. Family tradition makes Switzerland the ancestral home of the Flicks.
The first of these variations is found in the duchy of Swabia around present day Switzerland.
Martin Fluekk was one of the earliest recorded bearers of the name, residing in the city
of Überlingen in 1294. Überlingen is located just to the north east of Zürich
View Map of Überlingen
The spelling "Flick" is believed to have come from the Old German "Flacco" or "Flecco".
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Hans Fluckiger, who immigrated to
Pennsylvania in 1710; Johannes Fluckiger, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1729; as did Peter Flickinger in
1753; William Fluck, who settled in Marston's Wharf, New York, after being discharged from service in the
John Jacob Fleck, age 26, crossed the Atlantic on the ship Lydia, in 1741. This is interesting, because
Philip Heinrich Flick, my direct ancestor crossed the Atlantic on a ship called the Lydia 44 years later in
The first settlers with the surname of Flick to arrive in America were Gerlach Paul Flick and three kinsmen,
Johanes Petter Flick, Johann Merden Flick and Johan Filibus Flick, on September 23, 1751,
aboard the ship Neptune, which carried 154 passengers from Rotterdam via Cowes. The first three,
Gerlach, Johan "Peter" and Johan "Martin" took the required oath of allegiance at Philadelphia on the same day.
These four flicks were probably brothers or near relatives.
If they were brothers, they eventually returned to Germany, since church records there
indicate that Gerlach Paul's brothers died in Germany and not in the new world.
The roots of the German surname schexnayder lie in the northern region of Schleswig-Holstein.
The name is derived from two Low German words, "schat," meaning "handle," and "schneider,"
meaning "to cut." Thus, the name was most likely originally borne by someone who cut the
shafts for spears or tools.
Spelling variations of this family name include: Schachtschneider, Schexnayder, Schaxnayder,
Schattschneider, Schatzschneider, Scachtsnider, Scachtsnidere, Schechtschneider, Schettschneider
and many more. First found in Schleswig-Holstein, where the name first emerged. The earliest
known bearer of the name was Herman Scachtsnidere, who was living in Hamburg in 1262.
One of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants was Henri Albert Segsneider,
whose trip across the Atlantic in 1721 was so fraught with peril, that it's amazing he survived at all.
In fact, of himself, his parents and his brother, he was the only one to survive the trip, arriving
in Louisiana at the age of about 12 as an orphan. I will be posting more of his incredible story
later, so check back!
I can't speak to all the different spellings of Schexnayder, but I can explain the variant that my
My grandfather Rene', could not read or write, having never gone to school. In his late teens, as
he was preparing to marry my grandmother, they both needed a copy of their birth certificates. The person
they spoke with when they applied, may have been deaf, or just a bad speller, but this person
misspelled both their names. My grandmother's name was Sybill Hargrove, but her birth certificate listed
her name as Sylvia Hargrave. My grandfather's name was Rene' Schexnayder but his misspelled birth certificate
listed him as Raney Schexneider. So while all of his brothers and sisters as well as their descendants
spell their last name Schexnayder, my grandfather and his descendants now spell their last name Schexneider.
Both the Flicks and the Schexnayders originate from areas in what was known Germania. When my
ancestors left Germany was not yet unified. The Flicks came from what was formerly Prussia and the
Schexnayders from a region that is now Brussels. The region first became associated with the
name Germany in the 1st century BC, when the "conquest of Gaul" makes the Romans aware
for the first time that there is an ethnic and linguistic distinction between the Celts
(or Gauls) and their aggressive neighbours, the Germans.
To view some interesting facts about the history of the German region
Heraldry / Coat of Arms
The study of the coat of arms is called heraldry. The issuance of arms is controlled by
"heralds". Most countries in Western Europe, England, Scotland, and Ireland have an "Office
of the Heralds". These are sometimes also called the "Kings of Arms". Only these heralds
have the power to decide who is allowed to display a particular coat of arms.
Without permission from the heralds, you are not authorized to display a coat of arms.
Here are a couple of great links explaining heraldry and a person's right to bear and display
a coat of arms.
As Mr. Eastman says in the first article linked above:
The American College of Heraldry also says, "It is highly inappropriate for one to
locate the arms of another person sharing the same surname, and to simply adopt and use
these arms as one's own."
His interpretation of that (and I tend to agree) is that, if you are displaying an
unauthorized coat of arms as your own, you are impersonating someone else.
Rietstaps, Armorial General lists 2 Flick related coats of arms along with descriptions. It is unknown
when or to whom they were originally issued.
The German coat of arms description is given as this: "silver; three linden leaves placed one over
two, issuing from a stem; all green and issuing from a green ground". To see what this coat of
arms may have looked like,
There is also what is believed to be the British version. That description is given as this: "a
silver shield with two bars each containing three silver sea shells". To see what this coat of
arms may have looked like,
Click Here to view other Coats of Arms
born by my ancestors.