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Welcome to the RENZ - RENTZ DNA PROJECT!


The goal of this project is to provide a single site where researchers may view results which combine traditional genealogy research with results from Y-chromosome DNA analysis. These results will help researchers:

1.  investigating the Renz or Rentz surname to combine individual family trees into common pedigrees and genetic lineage groups;

2.  discover the European origin of their family group by matching their individual family tree to a lineage of this project;

3.  who are investigating  variant spellings, e.g. Rantz, Ranzo, Reinzo, Renzo, Reinz, etc., discover relationships to the Renz and Rentz family groups;

4.  understand relationships among members with common ancestry from the same geographic location, e.g. Baden-Wurttemberg, by sharing results in a regional project, e.g. the Germany DNA Project.


 Background Information


The earliest known written documentation of the surname Rentz occurs in the early 13th century in the city of Ulm, located Danube Valley in the central portion of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. Extant records suggest that there were three primary lines by the 15th century in this region known as Schwabia from which others have descended: 1) the Augsburg line; 2) the Waiblinger line, according to E. Renz, this is the line of the founders of Zircus Renz (Circus Renz; Herman Renz Circus; see links below); and 3) the Wiesensteiger line. A detailed historical analysis of these lines was written by Ernest Renz; Renz (aus Schwaben): Ancestral history of the Ren(t)z Swabia line (1); transcribed by Ingeborg Brigitte Gastel Lloyd.

In bringing together results of Y-chromosomal DNA analysis of males who bear a surname from this group with traditional genealogical information, several experimental objectives arise:

  1. to discover the historical relationship between the three early Schwabian lines to determine their inter-relationship;
  2. to discover the modern day relationships among members who bear the group surname to one of these early Schwabian lines;
  3. to discover new lines which are unrelated to any of these three Schwabian lines.


Genealogists who have other information about the origins of the Renz or Rentz surnames are welcome to submit information to the site administrator for inclusion in this section. Or, the information may be posted at the discussion group.

 Useful Links

 Sites related to the Renz Family Circus:

 Circus Renz (English language summary)

Zirkus Renz” (a.k.a. . Erinnerung an den Cirkus Renz”) by Peter Gustav (c. 1904) – seemingly a popular piece! Listen to a xylophone rendition (this is the most professional version); another more recent (2009), similar version  by the same orchestra leader but which adds a carillon;  an accordion rendition; or a church organ rendition. There is an earlier (different?) version entitled, “Gavotte Circus Renz: op. 105,” composed in c. 1872 by Hermann Fliege, and dedicated to “Director E. Renz.” Numerous publications of this music: e.g. by Sherman & Hyde (1872-1876); San Francisco (139 Kearny St., corner of Sutter). See California Sheet Music Project. ISMN: M-013-51048-1.

Circus Renz (German language)

Zirkus Universal Renz (German language)





World Families Network Forums
     Rentz Family Forum
     Pedigree Forum
     World Families Network General Discussion

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For more information on the relationship between DNA testing and traditional genealogy, visit World Families Network.




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