Ziock Family Lineage

In the middle of the 18th century, a glazer was born under the name of Ciocco or Ziock in Milan, Italy or Rheinland, Germany.  By 1799 he was known as Johannes Peter Ziock.

Just after the beginning of the 19th century, one of his sons, Heinrich Wilhelm Ziock was born in Hattingen, Westfalen, Germany.  By the time of the American Civil War, he had immigrated to the United States, settling in St. Louis, Missouri.  His son, William Henry, Sr., (also born in Germany) became an all-American entrepreneur, founding a woolen mill in St. Charles, Missouri that supplied Nelson Knitting in Rockford.

In 1885, Ziock relocated to the city on the Rock River where revolutionary knitting technology had just been created by his customer.  Innovation was coupled with the new Water Power (district) that provided energy adequate to meet the burgeoning manufacturing needs of the growing community.

The St. Louis business success blossomed into a textile industry powerhouse in his adopted hometown.  It was in his honor that the William H. Ziock Building was named in 1912.  The textile industry in Rockford exploded to prominence in 1885, leading the nation in several sectors for over 50 years.  Just after World War I, the fierce competition for skilled labor was won by the emerging hardware and machine tool industry.  By 1980, the textile business had moved south or off-shored.  But the daylight factory stands 100 years later as a stark reminder of founders’ ingenuity and determination.

Descendants of Johannes Peter Ziock  Ziock Genealogy Chart

Family Group Records (Searchable PDF)

William H Ziock, Jr., and many family members of his time are in Greenwood Cemetery.  See them at Find A Grave.  Some (though not all) relatives are linked, e.g. cross-referenced from William . . . or search for the appropriate surname to locate them.

Rockford was not built by politicians and public servants – the founders were often penniless and powerless.   What they had was creativity, courage, conviction and the willingness to work years to accomplish their goals!”
Marge Bevers, 2010

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