The following information was collected mainly from church chronicles and land registers. It was compiled by Prof. Dr. Paul Doenitz (1866-1955 , "Studienrat i.R." from Erfurt / Thüringen) and published in an essay in 1954. All the locations and villages mentioned here lie in the greater area about 200 km south west of Berlin, Germany.

The roots of the clan Dönitz

The homestead of the clan Dönitz is situated somewhat south of the Schlachtberge, about 2 km north of Wettin in the Saale (river) district. It remains in the name of the (abandoned) settlement Denitz. The name of this Slavic or Wendic spot traces back to a settlement of the clan Choten (Chotenici, Tenitzi, Tenitz). The name Chot, Choten etc. is derived from the Slavic word chot = love, dear, husband. The first syllable disappeared over time and eventually only the name Denitz or Tenitz remained.
The lea of this former settlement borders Neutz and Podelsee in the east, Gögers (Gögertz) and Lobnitz in the south, Selbnitz in the west and Dossel and Demnitz in the north.
The settlement was situated on a plateau not far from the ponds of Podelsee at the spring of the Lobitzer brook in between the Schlachtberge.
The chronicle of the Saale district still mentions a segment of wall belonging to the old church. After 1850 a tower that was used by the royal "Bergamt" (office of mining) for storing gunpowder, was thought to be the steeple of the old village Denitz.
When Schultze-Gallera researched the area in 1914 people remembered nothing of the old village Denitz except for the name of the abandoned settlement.
The old family tradition, which goes back for centuries, claims that the clan Denitz, Doenitz, Dönitz, Tenitz originated from a foundling who was first discovered amidst the abandoned settlement and who was then given that name (Denitz). Practically all families of the clan Dönitz attribute their name to ancestors who lived in the area of the village Denitz or the villages Dobis, Dössel and Neutz.
Kinsmen of the clan Dönitz are found in the villages/towns of Dobis, Dössel, Alberoda, Höhnstedt, Gimritz, Naundorf, Domnitz, Wörmlitz, Brachstedt, Gröbzig, Lebendorf, Zerbst, Halle/Saale and Berlin.
Unfortunately it is hard to exactly determine the early relationships between the ancestors of these clan branches as the church chronicles of Drössel (suburbanized to Neutz) and the registers of Dobis only go back to 1738 and haven't been entirely investigated yet.
The family tradition in Dössel mentions a coat of arms showing three tankards or mugs above which two hands hold another tankard, surrounded by the usual adornments... but this was probably invented later.
The text accompanying the arms also reports that in the year 1618 Ernst Abraham Dönitz was equerry of Saxony.
The kinsmen of the clan are mostly farmers, craftsmen, traders, factory owners, academics and officials.
A branch of the clan came from Dobis to Wörmlitz where the Dönitz are still living and working as farmers. From Wörmlitz the Dönitz came to Brachstedt.