Recorded in several spellings including Zwicker, Zywick, Zywickie, Zywicki, Zywickinski, and others, this is often regarded as being Polish, but is arguably Germanic in origin. It has a number of possible sources. Firstly, it may be a locational name from a market town called "Zwickau" in Saxony, a region in South East Germany around the upper Elbe River. Locational names were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Secondly, the surname may be an occupational name for an "executioner", deriving from the German "zwicken", to pinch, with the suffix "-er", denoting a person that performs a specific action. Finally, the surname may be from a Germanic personal name, "Swidiger", which translates as "strong spear". Joseph Zwicker was listed in Germany in 1407, and other recordings from early surviving church registers include: the marriage of Veit Zwicker and Martha Dorsch on March 4th 1622, at Repperndorf, Bayern; Germany, and that of Helenam Magdalenam Zywickie who was christened at Koscierzyna, Gdanskiego, Poland, on May 11th 1775. A coat of arms associated with the surname has the blazon of three silver vannets on a black shield. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In medieval England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.