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Zotz , also spelled Zoz , is the name of an Austro-German family of entrepreneurs and scholars that goes back to a Tyrolean family that has been documented since the early 15th century .


The Zotz family probably came over the Fernpass from the south to Lähn and Wengle, districts of Bichlbach in the Reutte district in Tyrol, where they can be documented for the first time in 1427. The branch of the family is still located there today with various lines. According to Jakob Zotz († 1692), the sex was divided into several branches and lines. The originally farming family came to entrepreneurship through handicrafts. She introduced in 1690 the abbot of the Cistercian monastery Stams , got into the educated middle class and eventually produced some authors and scientists.

Tyrolean branch

From 1621 lead was mined in the Riegelthal near Bichlbach. The resulting prosperity in the region was jeopardized when the lead deposits were exhausted in 1688. Some Bichlbachers, including members of the Zotz family, became active in the construction industry in Swabia in the course of this development . In 1694, with a certificate of confirmation from Emperor Leopold I, a guild was founded in Bichlbach for all craftsmen active in the construction industry, including members of the Zotz family.

A line of the family had their headquarters in Nesselwängle , which produced some masters of stucco art who were active throughout Europe: Lorenz Zotz the Elder (* 1862) worked with his brothers Gottfried and Eduard († 1935) in Germany, while Lorenz Zotz the Younger (* 1902) worked with his brother Ämilian in the Alpine region. Ämilian designed and created the high altar and the two side altars of the church in Nesselwängle over a period of two years. The workshop founded in Zug by Hubert Zotz was active throughout Switzerland. She became known for the stucco ornaments in the church of the Einsiedeln monastery and worked with the church architect Adolf Gaudy .

German branches

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, individual members of the family finally settled permanently in southwest Germany, where they established various companies. Johann Georg Zotz († 1759), born on May 17, 1700 in Wengle, came to Herxheim near Landau / Palatinate in 1729 , where he founded a construction company and traded. Part of the Palatinate branch of the family, which was active in various companies, goes back to him. The members of this branch received French citizenship temporarily because the Palatinate belonged to France. Georg Adam Zotz (1753-1816), a son of Johann Georg Zotz, was in command of the French artillery.

Josef Anton Zotz, born on March 4, 1776 in Lähn, settled in 1804 in Heitersheim , Baden . The Baden branch of the family goes back to him, which is mainly based in Breisgau and the Black Forest . His son Karl Zotz, born on February 8, 1808, acquired the eastern part of the Maltese Castle in Heitersheim in 1845. He built a wine-growing business there, today's Julius Zotz winery . There is a Bavarian branch of the family in addition to the Tyrolean, Palatinate and Baden branches. In addition to the Austrian and German branches, there are also branches in America due to emigration, in the USA as well as in Brazil and Australia.


The American author Walter Karig named his novel "Zotz!" (1947), which was made into a film by William Castle in 1962 , after the family's last name:

“A few years ago I met a man with the surname Zotz. The strange name was from Austria or Bavaria, where his ancestors came from. Immediately after hearing that name, it seemed to me that this was a magical spell. I felt that “Zotz!” Had magical powers, and that's how the title of my novel was born. The meaning of this strange name was a mystery that even its bearer could not solve. I tried to find more information about it. A well-known family of this name was from Peoria, Illinois, one of their relatives, Alois Zotz , had founded the "Deutsche Zeitung" in America. When I finally learned that "Zotz" was the name of a bat god of the Mayans, I found that the intended title for the book was perfect. "


Tyrolean branch

Palatinate, Bavarian and Baden branches

American branch


  • Ferdinand Kätzler: House and family history of Lähn and Wengle . Bichlbach municipality, Innsbruck 2000.
  • Ferdinand Kätzler: Lähn and Wengle . Bichlbach municipality, Innsbruck 1996.
  • Herxheim population register from 1774/1775 . 17. Continuation. Herxheim, June 23, 2006.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ First known mention in 1427 in the "Subject Directory" of Bichlbach, see Ferdinand Kätzler: House and Family History of Lähn and Wengle. Bichlbach community. Innsbruck 2000
  2. Monika Bilgeri: “The wandering nature of the building trade.” Vacation magazine by Nesselwängle-Haller-Rauth, 1993, pp. 15-17. ( Memento of the original from December 31, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / ws.nesselwaengle.eu
  3. Katharina Medici Mall: Lorenz Schmid 1751–1799. Wessobrunn altar building between Rococo and Classicism in Switzerland Simaringen (Thorbecke Verlag) 1975
  4. Linus Birchler: Einsidlensia. Image of grace, restoration of the collegiate church, older monastery buildings. Zurich 1993, p. 32.
  5. ^ Bernhard Anders: The church architect Adolf Gaudy (1872-1956). ( Memento from December 9, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  6. Collection de documents inédits sur l'histoire de France. Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques, France. Ministère de l'instruction publique. Paris: Impr. Nationale 1889
  7. ^ Walter Karig: Five Letters to Earl Brewster. Naples 1969, p. 61. The original English text is cited here
  8. familysearch.org: Maria Anna Aline Zotz (1883) In: Germany, Marriages, 1558–1929 , accessed on April 8, 2012
  9. familysearch.org: Maria Anna Aline Zotz In: Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558–1898 , accessed April 8, 2012