This long-established surname is of early medieval Germanic origin, and is an occupational name for a scribe, deriving from the Middle High German "zettelen", from the noun "zettel", parchment (paper). In medieval times the occupation of scribe was an important one as he was a learned man who undertook scribal and administrative tasks on behalf of his community. In many cases, the surname may have referred originally to a professional secretary. Job-descriptive surnames initially denoted the actual profession of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The metonymic occupational name Zetels appears in medieval records of Holzleuten, dated 1410, and a Merten Zettelschreiber was noted in Germanic Records, dated 1560. The surname, with variant spellings Zetler and Zedler, is particularly well recorded in German Church Registers from the early 17th Century. On July 4th 1621, the birth of Maria, daughter of Martin Zettler and Anna Sailer, was recorded at Rottenburg, Schwarzwaldkreis, Wuertt, and on January 21st 1630, Jacob Zettler and Anna Schiess were married at Dickenreishausen, Schwaben, Bayern. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is a black shield with two gold stars in chief, and a gold reversed pile charged with a black star. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hainr der Zetler, which was dated 1356, in "Medieval Records of Berghofen", Germany, during the reign of King Charles 1V of Luxembourg, 1347 - 1378. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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