Recorded in over sixty forms including Zach, Zack, Zachary, Zacharias, Zacheri, Tzadik, and Zadickovicz, this is a famous surname which is both Jewish and Christian in about equal numbers. It is one of the many biblical and Hebrew names which was introduced into Europe by knights returning from the many expeditions to "free" the Holy Land from the Muslim grip in the 11th and 12th centuries. These knights, whose most famous leader was probably Richard, the Lionheart, king of England (1189 - 1199), on their return gave their children biblical names in commemoration of the father's exploits. The fact that every Crusade was a military failure does not seem to reduced the enthusiasm for the Christian revival, and within two centuries these names which include Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, had replaced over eighty percent of the original native names. This name, originally a personal name, and then after about the year 1400 a surname, derives from the Hebrew "Zacharya" meaning "in memory of god", a literal translation which no doubt contributed to its international popularity. It was also the name not only of a prophet but that of the father of St John, the Baptist. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers in the diocese of Greater London include Isabell Zachary, the daughter of Thomas Zachary, christened at St James Clerkenwell, on October 6th 1586, Johanis Zacharias, a witness at the church of St Peter le Poer, in the city of London, on October 14th 1599, and Francis Zack, a witness at St Johns Westminster, on December 8th 1745.
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