Schenk Family History
Schenk Name Meaning
German and Dutch: from Middle High German, Middle Dutch schenke, ‘cupbearer’, ‘wine server’ (from Old High German scenko, from scenken ‘to pour out or serve’), hence an occupational name for a cupbearer or server of wine. As a German name it also denotes a tavernkeeper. In another development, similar to English Butler, the word came to be used as an honorary title for a high court official, and some cases of the surname may have arisen from this use. Jewish (Ashkenazic): metonymic occupational name for an innkeeper, from German Schenke ‘inn’, ‘tavern’. At one time only Jews were allowed to sell alcohol in the Russian empire, which is why Shenk and its related surnames are very common.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press