Tag Archives: German

How’s your German? Or Polish? Or Kashubian?

CarolineRADDE

I am trying to figure out just what the heck this document is and translating the information therein, which I am assuming is German. But who knows! Is it Polish? Or Kashubian, a Slavic language spoken and written by few? Do you know? I’d love to hear from you.

A distant cousin who lives in Switzerland posted it to a forum on Yahoo! Groups related to genealogy in a region of Europe known as Pomerania.

It is apparently about my great-great grandmother, Caroline Radde. (The file is named Caroline.R.) But I am having a heck of a time deciphering it.

If you can help, please don’t hesitate contacting me by commenting on this post or writing to me directly via email, hillaj@outlook.com. And thanks in advance for any assistance!

ajh

Advertisements

Ludwig of Gröbenzien

ludwig_lentz

I’m so glad I’ve finally found a record of my great-great grandfather, Ludwig Lentz of Gröbenzien. Gröbenzien was a village in Germany, near the Polish border.

The images are from the Borntuchen church book, known in German as Kirchenbuch. This is the first time I’ve found Ludwig in any historical records. And there’s another unknown, his son Eduard. Most other surviving records from this branch of the family are in other church books.

I’ve included links to the image files of the complete record and the key at the top of the page.

_323ludwig_lentz

ajh

Einwohner? Notes on German society in 1883, using my great grandpa as a case study.

GERMAN, A CHANGING LANGUAGE

Hmm. The only record that I’ve found of my great grandfather in Germany, which is a compliation of many sources I believe, lists his occupation in 1883. The German word is Einwohner.

Upon reading the word, I immediately began probling the tubes that make up the Internet to translate it, using everything from Google Translate to a hashtag on Twitter.

Not satisfied, I tried a mailing list on genealogy, geographic-specific, hosted by Yahoo and recvieved this wonderfully descriptive answer from Piotr Mankowski, resident of Nowogard, Poland, which was Naugard, Germany until World War II.

“Einwohner was a status and meant a person who rented or leased a flat or house in the village or town. In some cases, the person had to pay for the roof over his head by, for example, working for a day for the owner, especially if residing in the farmer’s house.”

Heniz Radde, who was born in a place called Gross Tuchen, which isn’t far from where my ancestors lived, and now lives in Switzerland, wrote a concise explanation.

“Today Einwohner means inhabitant and nothing else. But in the past, the word was in use for day laborer and very small farmer as well. Sometimes it was written Einlieger for the same.”

ajh

Albrecht Alt? Never heard of him. He was a German Lutheran scholar of the Old Testament.

Albrecht was born on September 20, 1883, so he was roughly the generation of my grandfather or great grandfather, whose name was also Albert.

As a German Lutheran scholar of the Old Testament, Albrecht authored a book, Biblia Hebraica, with a fella named R. Kittel which “became the standard critical text of the Old Testament for Bible students.”

ajh

New & improved! A multilingual blog — in Polish, Arabic, German, Turkish & English!

Since there are many varied people involved with this story, I am providing multilingual translations within the blog post, a first for me. I may do it more, since I think a blog in different languages is a cool idea.

I’ve settled on four translations of my original tweet: German, Polish, Turkish, and Arabic.

ENGLISH
Poland refuses to take Muslim immigrants. Can you blame them?

POLISH
Polska odmawia przyjęcia muzułmańskich imigrantów. Czy możesz ich winy?

TURKISH
Polonya, Müslüman göçmenleri almayı reddetti. Onları suçlayabilir misin?

GERMAN
Polen weigert sich, muslimische Einwanderer zu nehmen. Kannst du sie beschuldigen?

ARABIC
وترفض بولندا اتخاذ المهاجرين المسلمين. يمكنك إلقاء اللوم عليهم؟
watarfud bulanda aitikhadh almuhajirin almuslimina. yumkinuk ‘iilqa’ allawm ealayhim?

ajh

I’ve been wondering about the name August, the Germanic form of Augustus. It is prominent among my maternal grandfather’s family.

533px-ac5adgust_mocny-_d090d19ed0b3d183d181d182_d09cd0bed186d0bdd18b_28h-_rodakowski2c_xix29
Augustus II the Strong (German: August II. der Starke) | His great physical strength earned him the nicknames the Strong, the Saxon Hercules and Iron-Hand.

My great grandfather was Albert August Fromke. His younger brother was August L. Fromke. Albert’s wife was Augusta Wilhelmina Lentz.

I am hoping to learn about why this was such a strong tradition in Germany. There is many a German prince with the name and a few princesses too.

There’s Augustus the Strong, born in Dresden and elected King of Poland. There’s Augustus the Third, son of Augustus the Strong who also became King of Poland.

Then, there’s Augustus the Younger. He had the largest collection of books and manuscripts north of the Alps. There is Augustus d’Este, a grandson of King George III of Great Britain.

It all goes back to Augustus, Elector of Saxony. And, of course, before him, there was Rome. The first Roman emperor is known as Augustus.

ajh

Well, I never. Ben Franklin wasn’t keen on non-British immigrants, particularly Germans into Pennsylvania.

Ben Franklin

Few of their children in the country learn English… The signs in our streets have inscriptions in both languages … Unless the stream of their importation could be turned they will soon so outnumber us that all the advantages we have will not be able to preserve our language, and even our government will become precarious.”

…the language so vexing to him was the German spoken by new arrivals to Pennsylvania in the 1750s, a wave of immigrants whom Franklin viewed as the “most stupid of their nation.”

ajh

The Origins of Easter

Besides the Jesus Part, Of Course

Some sources claim the word Easter is derived from Ēostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Other accounts trace Easter to the Latin term hebdomada alba, or white week, an ancient reference to Easter week and the white clothing donned by people who were baptized during that time. Through a translation error, the term later appeared as esostarum in Old High German, which eventually became Easter in English.”

ajh

The origins of my grandmother’s paternal line has been lost to later generations — until now.

The German Connection

hay_catechism_book_edit

Using a multidisciplinary approach, including DNA and a family religious artifact, helped me confirm that my grandmother’s paternal line had its origins in Germany.

The artifact is a book, printed in Philadelphia in 1814 with text in German. This alone is significant. The language is not American English. This is German.

When I first saw this, after a copy of it was reproduced in a book on the family history called Michael Hay and His Descendants, I knew that I had to pursue this. I had to unravel this story.

One of the compiler’s of the book, Lucy Bayley, lived in Oregon. And one day years ago my grandmother, her brother Everett, and I made the short road trip to her home. She was welcoming, but when I began asking questions about the family, she was reticent to give much information.

She was publishing a book and did not want to share, as if I was a competitor. It was a strange experience. I certainly had no intentions of publishing a book. But she treated me like a spy. So I was frustrated. Grandma said that I should just let her handle it.

Funnily, when the book was finally released, many in our branch of the family were disappointed. It was a typical genealogical book, with a bunch of names and dates, but little else. And there were some errors. I much prefer a narrative format, rather than the routine one.

This is not to say that the book is without merit. The first few pages are worthwhile and quite informative. These include maps and photographs, of land where our ancestors farmed and the long-neglected cemetery on private land where many were buried, more than a century ago.

Lucy was convinced of a Scottish connection, that the family had been in Scotland, part of the Hay clan apparently, but had then relocated to Germany. She was obsessed with this theory. To this day I have no idea if there is one. But I have seen no evidence of it.

However, the link with Germany is solid. I convinced my great uncle, the same one who made the journey to visit Lucy, to submit his DNA, and the results proved a link to a man named Kettering, who had traced his line back to a particular place in Germany.

So now I am working on a translation of this catechism book. I don’t know if I can do it on my own, using online translators such as Google Translate. But I am gonna try.

ajh