Sunday, January 13, 2019

Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Unusual Name

This year's challenge is 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks and is run by Amy Johnson Crow.

I'm all set it write as I've got my hot tea and tonight's encouragement and treat for writing is homemade cinnamon rolls which should be interesting to write without getting the icing all over the place.

Anyhow, this week's prompt is unusual name which, once again, leaves you to interpret it how you want. Many of us can go back to Europe and how difficult it is. However, when you have a last name that comes from about the middle of Europe and eastward then things get seriously bad with the names and their spellings. I'm not talking about the majority of first names, I'm talking last names or surnames. This I can count the ways due to the different languages and dialects.

You have various spellings depending on who was in charge of the area they were in even. However, I'm just going to concentrate of the names of migrants in this post.

Please note the names attached below are from various documents for copyright (even though most of these are past copyright). If you have a question regarding what document its from please contact me using the comments section below and give a detailed description regarding which one you are querying.

Poland & Its Existence
On both maternal and paternal sides I have Polish and they both happen to be Polish Russian.

What's the difference between Polish and Polish Russian? It put it simply is nothing other than the Polish Russian is back before 1919 when Poland didn't exist so they had the parts which were split up
between Russia, Austria and Germany. The migrants listed themselves in different ways sometimes it was Polish and sometimes it was listed as Russian/Austrian/Germany Polish because of Poland being split up for 123 years.

These are various last names or surnames: Wojtowski/Wojtowska, Slepowronska/Slepowronski, Ostrzycki, Rutkowski, Wyrzykowski, Zakrzewska, Kurpieski, Jagodzinski, Jagodzinska, Jagodrinski, Jagodrinska, Berry, Barry and I'm sure there are many more out there! 
Now let's count the ways of just the names of my migrated ancestors from this area...I'm only going to pick a few examples or else I'd be here all day with these!

Various spellings:

Various spellings:

My paternal grandfather was born and raised in Germany which is where he migrated from in the 1920s. However, the many problem wasn't the spelling of the name, it was it is equal to the Smith and Jones names in the United States unfortunately.

The name he migrated with was Mathias Schmitz. Then he Americanized it a bit to Matthew Schmitz.

However, over the years, even though its a very common last name, I've still had it spelled wrong on me.

Other last names: Klepperich and I'm sure there are many more out there!   I have only done a tiny bit of research in this area.

Various spellings:

My maternal great grandfather migrated to the US in the late 1800s. Even so, people still have problems with the name. I have to admit it sounds very French when you say it how the Americans do (Gay-quey), but I've found that in Belgium, where my ancestors are from it say it differently (Gook-key) but is spelled Gauquie.

Taken from website
We've been in Belgium since the early 1700s which I've found, but the area they lived in Belgium was right on the border with France which has me thinking back even earlier is when we had family in France and the reasons for going to Belgium, or within France depending on when they went,  might have been due to many factors like political, social and economic tension made worse by religious division which many rules had problems with during this time.

I do know we have had family in France due to the one famous sculptor (right), but I haven't figured out how we were related - yet.

My 2x great grandfather, before he changed it in the 1890s, had a very unusual name including the last name - Aloyis H Gauquie. No wonder he changed it to Charles.

My great grandfather, the son of Aloyis, had an unusual name as well. He was born Joannes Julius Van Rompaye or Van Rompaey due to his being illigitemate. Once Aloyis knew about him and married Joannes Julius' mother, Florentina or Florentyna, He was then named a Gauquie. Its was only my research that found he was born under his mother's maiden last name when I started my research many years ago.

Other last names are: Verbert, VanThyghem, Verbaeghe, Verhaeghe, Verstrepen, Naets, Loones,  Gysen, Depoorter  and I'm sure there are many more out there! 

I'm only going to pick a few examples or else I'd be here all day with these!

Various spellings:

My Own Unusual Name
I was born as Jo Ann Janet after my mother and maternal grandmother. When my parents discovered my mother was pregnant with me, they made a bet - if its a girl then its to be named after my mother. A boy would be named after my father. Congratulations its a girl!

So I was named after my mother. However, then you have the whole discussion when there's a call or mail as to who its for... Make the wrong move and the person starts giving to the other person private information. It was so annoying to be frank.

Anyhow, growing up, I was told over and over again that my mother's name was Joan Ann and she smashed the two names together, because she didn't like the first name of Joan, to get the Jo Ann which sounds plausible and I was ok with that.

However, when my sister had to put my mother in a nursing home about 2 years ago, she needed her birth certificate. My sister found her birth certificate which was drawn up after she was married. The first thing is the certificate had her a year older and doesn't have any parent information on it. It also has a different name to those we knew about - Joanna. Now I know her formal grandfather's name Joannes (as you can see by some of the names inserted above) I wonder if they put the name into female format and Americanized it to Joanna? Its a possibility...

Then when they get tired of trying to spell names there's always this: 

Also, I had the complication of the maiden name of Schmitz, which I've covered above.

As you can see, unusual names they have come from all over. It could be for many reasons why they have them and changed them. However, we only get one birth name, which is why when I my filing of my documents, I use this name followed in parentheses with the married names.

My file folders for printed information

My file folders for electronic information