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Thread: Interesting Pennsylvania Dutch (German) Ethnicity estimate. Why so British?

  1. #21
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    On my maternal side, I have Pennsylvania German and real Dutch, along with Anglo input. One name, Cline, could be derived from PA German, or from Dutch. I've seen an alternate spelling of Kleyn in Ancestry trees, which looks rather Dutch.

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    i have one line that starts across the border from PA in Harpers Ferry, with the surname "Fertig" -- might be German / Penn Dutch?
    R1b>M269>L23>L51>L11>P312>DF19>DF88>FGC11833 >S4281>S4268>Z17112 (S17075-)

    Y-cousin: 6DRIF-23 (DF19>>Z17112+, S17075+)

    Ancestors: Francis Cooke (M223/I2a2a) b1583; Hester Mahieu (Cooke) (J1c2 mtDNA) b.1584; Richard Warren (E-M35) b1578; Elizabeth Walker (Warren) (H1j mtDNA) b1583;
    John Mead (I2a1/P37.2) b1634; Rev. Joseph Hull (I1, L1301+ L1302-) b1595; Benjamin Harrington (M223/I2a2a-Y5729) b1618; Joshua Griffith (L21>DF13) b1593;
    John Wing (U106) b1584; Hermann Wilhelm (DF19) b1635

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baltimore1937 View Post
    On my maternal side, I have Pennsylvania German and real Dutch, along with Anglo input. One name, Cline, could be derived from PA German, or from Dutch. I've seen an alternate spelling of Kleyn in Ancestry trees, which looks rather Dutch.
    It is pretty tough to discern based on spelling, especially with non-Anglo names. In part because some families purposely chose to use a more anglo version of their last name. Examples of this in my own family are Maurer to Mowery, Schneider to Snyder, Vögli to Fegley, Schlosser to Slusser.

    But I have even more examples of name changes in my family from result of how a English person(s) spelled the name, they thought they heard, on official documents. This was most common among ancestors and cousins that moved to areas that were no longer German dominated. In PA dutch country the census takers, etcetera, were familiar with these names. When they move away from the area I often see a different spelling of the name on the paper trail, sometimes several. Rabenold became Robinholt, and sometimes was written as Robinhood, and Drach became Traugh. Less extreme examples are Reider to Rider, Reichard to Richard, and Defrehn to Defrain and yes even distant cousins with Klein to Cline.

    Klein is a common surname in the region. The most common way I see that name spelled is Klein in PA Dutch county, that is also the German word for small. Odds are that was likely the original way your Cline’s spelled their name, but I don’t want to presume.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dewsloth View Post
    i have one line that starts across the border from PA in Harpers Ferry, with the surname "Fertig" -- might be German / Penn Dutch?
    The family could have PA Dutch roots, since it is a German surname. It all depends if they came originally to colonial Pennsylvania. I think it is a good rule of thumb to at least check out southeastern pa for german ancestors if you can’t find immigration records for them in the 1800’s and are sure they didn’t immigrate more recently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hayden View Post

    The family could have PA Dutch roots, since it is a German surname. It all depends if they came originally to colonial Pennsylvania. I think it is a good rule of thumb to at least check out southeastern pa for german ancestors if you can’t find immigration records for them in the 1800’s and are sure they didn’t immigrate more recently.
    Thanks! I have found Fertigs across the border in PA in the right time frame. My ancestor, Jacob Fertig b~1809 at Harpers Ferry is probably a family member, but I haven't found hard evidence on his parents.
    Last edited by Dewsloth; 05-29-2017 at 12:09 AM.
    R1b>M269>L23>L51>L11>P312>DF19>DF88>FGC11833 >S4281>S4268>Z17112 (S17075-)

    Y-cousin: 6DRIF-23 (DF19>>Z17112+, S17075+)

    Ancestors: Francis Cooke (M223/I2a2a) b1583; Hester Mahieu (Cooke) (J1c2 mtDNA) b.1584; Richard Warren (E-M35) b1578; Elizabeth Walker (Warren) (H1j mtDNA) b1583;
    John Mead (I2a1/P37.2) b1634; Rev. Joseph Hull (I1, L1301+ L1302-) b1595; Benjamin Harrington (M223/I2a2a-Y5729) b1618; Joshua Griffith (L21>DF13) b1593;
    John Wing (U106) b1584; Hermann Wilhelm (DF19) b1635

  6. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hayden View Post
    It is pretty tough to discern based on spelling, especially with non-Anglo names. In part because some families purposely chose to use a more anglo version of their last name. Examples of this in my own family are Maurer to Mowery, Schneider to Snyder, Vögli to Fegley, Schlosser to Slusser.

    But I have even more examples of name changes in my family from result of how a English person(s) spelled the name, they thought they heard, on official documents. This was most common among ancestors and cousins that moved to areas that were no longer German dominated. In PA dutch country the census takers, etcetera, were familiar with these names. When they move away from the area I often see a different spelling of the name on the paper trail, sometimes several. Rabenold became Robinholt, and sometimes was written as Robinhood, and Drach became Traugh. Less extreme examples are Reider to Rider, Reichard to Richard, and Defrehn to Defrain and yes even distant cousins with Klein to Cline.

    Klein is a common surname in the region. The most common way I see that name spelled is Klein in PA Dutch county, that is also the German word for small. Odds are that was likely the original way your Cline’s spelled their name, but I don’t want to presume.



    The family could have PA Dutch roots, since it is a German surname. It all depends if they came originally to colonial Pennsylvania. I think it is a good rule of thumb to at least check out southeastern pa for german ancestors if you can’t find immigration records for them in the 1800’s and are sure they didn’t immigrate more recently.
    Another thing to keep in mind is that different regions of Germany often used different spellings for names -- both first and last. In addition to that, the spelling in use by the immigrant might not match the one in use in the place he or she immigrated from, but maybe the place-of-origin of the name.

    And just as standardized spellings are a relatively recent phenomenon in English -- post colonial, anyway -- it's also recent in a number of other languages.

    If you look at a list of the top most common surnames in Germany (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...mes_in_Germany), one thing you'll see is that many of the top names are regional variants of the same name.

    This is likely one of the reasons you don't see any German surnames in the top 100 U.S. surnames. This, and how many variations were introduced here.

    For example, my surname has been spelled Buchhammer, Buchhamer, Buchamer, Buchheimer, Buckammer, Buckheimer, Buckhimer, Bochamer, Bookhammer, Bookhamer, Bookheimer, and Boughamer -- and this is not an exhaustive list.

    The #1 surname in Germany is Müller, but the #2 name -- Schmidt -- would displace it if all variations were included: Schmitt is #26; Schmitz is #28; and Schmid is #32. Contrast this with the U.S., where there is only a single variant of Smith even in the top 1000 surnames.

    (While you're looking for German names, consider other letters that could also be used even to begin the name. For example, Buchheim and Puchheim are basically the same name.)

    EDIT: Among the variants of my surname, a spelling like "Boughamer" can be especially challenging. You can tell just by looking at the name whether the "Bough" should sound more or less like "Book", except perhaps with the hard "g" sound replacing the "k"; of whether it should rhyme with "cow". Part of the confusion is that one of the other significant PA colonial ancestries was Scotsh-Irish, and the Irish grapheme "gh" has a very similar sound to the German grapheme "ch".

    2nd EDIT: As I was remembering, the Vietnamese name Nguyen is actually the 57th most-common surname in the U.S. Clearly, there are not more Vietnamese Americans than German Americans.

    3rd EDIT: As I understand it, the idea that the English misheard "Deutsch" or "Deitsch" for "Dutch" is a myth -- not that I think anyone said it here. "Dutch" was the general English term for all the inhabits of a region that included both the low countries and what is now Germany.

    When it was necessary to make a distinction, and English speaker could use the term "Low Dutch" for the people we now consider the "real" Dutch -- the inhabitants of the Netherlands. Germans were "High Dutch". This was based on the comparative elevations of the two regions. http://blog.dictionary.com/demonym/
    Last edited by geebee; 05-29-2017 at 01:29 AM.
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewsloth View Post
    Thanks! I have found Fertigs across the border in PA in the right time frame. My ancestor, Jacob Fertig b~1809 at Harpers Ferry is probably a family member, but I haven't found hard evidence on his parents.
    Great, I am glad you may of found a lead. Finding proof of parentage can be pretty tricky, it is so much easier when they don't move around so much. Maybe you'll have more luck after doing research on a few of the Fertig families in area. Google searching looking for PA county histories and a surname can sometimes help too. Good luck, I hope I haven't lead completely astray, lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geebee View Post
    Another thing to keep in mind is that different regions of Germany often used different spellings for names -- both first and last -- and a spelling might not even match the region a person immigrated from, but could match a region that family was from even earlier.

    And just as standardized spellings are a relatively recent phenomenon in English -- post colonial, anyway -- it's also recent in a number of other languages.

    As an aside, the many different German spellings of the same surname -- compounded by different Anglicizations of the same name -- is probably one of the reasons you don't see any German surnames in the top 100 U.S. surnames. It doesn't reflect the percentage of German Americans, just how many variations there be.

    For example, my surname has been spelled Buchhammer, Buchhamer, Buchamer, Buchheimer, Buckammer, Buckheimer, Buckhimer, Bochamer, Bookhammer, Bookhamer, Bookheimer, and Boughamer -- and this is not an exhaustive list.

    The #1 surname in Germany is Müller, but the #2 name -- Schmidt -- would displace it if all variations were included: Schmitt is #26; Schmitz is #28; and Schmid is #32. Contrast this with the U.S., where there is only a single variant of Smith even in the top 1000 surnames.

    (While you're looking for German names, consider other letters that could also be used even to begin the name. For example, Buchheim and Puchheim are basically the same name.)

    EDIT: Among the variants of my surname, a spelling like "Boughamer" can be especially challenging. You can tell just by looking at the name whether the "Bough" should sound more or less like "Book", except perhaps with the hard "g" sound replacing the "k"; of whether it should rhyme with "cow". Part of the confusion is that one of the other significant PA colonial ancestries was Scotsh-Irish, and the Irish grapheme "gh" has a very similar sound to the German grapheme "ch".
    These are all great points.

    And just to add on, it is true even names like Snyder which, often, were originally Schneider in America, did also exist, (in some cases) as Snyder in Germany and the Netherlands as an example.

    I also see Germans (PA Dutch anyway) use names like Mertz, Martz, or Meck, Mack (could be a result of dropping a umlaut "ea") almost interchangeably. Even on headstones of members of the same family.
    Last edited by Hayden; 05-29-2017 at 02:04 AM.

  10. #28
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    Yeah, I had an uncle who used to say that our more distant cousins who spelled "Bookhammer" with just one "m" were, um, "orthographically challenged". (My uncle said it in different words.) After all, everybody knows "hammer" has two m's.

    But of course the name has no connection to hammers. It also has no direct connection to books. Buch is the German equivalent of book, of course, but the connection is really to "Buche", which is a beech tree.

    "Hammer" is the equivalent in the Austro-Bavarian dialect to the "Heimer" of Standard German. "Heim" means "home", and "-er" (just as in English) means "one who is from that place". (Like a New Yorker.)

    So basically, Buchhammer would have been used for a person from Buchham -- or as it would be spelled now, from Buchheim. There happen to be multiple places by that name in modern Germany, plus at least one more in Austria.

    Just to complicate things a bit further, while the name doesn't have an umlaut over the u in Germany, I've once or twice seen it spelled that way in older U.S./colonial records.

    And to get back to Müller -- which can also spelled as Möller -- sometimes you see it spelled with the umlaut simply dropped, so Muller or Moller. Other times it becomes Mueller or Mohler. And still other times it simply becomes Miller.

    But, in Germany that last one is also a variant you see. So it's possible that a German family named Miller didn't undergo an Americanization of their surname, but used the same spelling even in Germany. Of course .. there were also those whose surname in the "Old Country" was spelled according to wherever they happened to live at the time.
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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  12. #29
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    Speaking of "old county" name variations, my Y-line german ancestors decided they wanted to be distinguished from another family with an identical surname so they changed their last letter from "i" to "y" about 150 years ago. OTOH, i'm not even sure if the "i" was just a leftover patronymic latinization by a priest somewhere writing the surname in the 1600s or so.
    R1b>M269>L23>L51>L11>P312>DF19>DF88>FGC11833 >S4281>S4268>Z17112 (S17075-)

    Y-cousin: 6DRIF-23 (DF19>>Z17112+, S17075+)

    Ancestors: Francis Cooke (M223/I2a2a) b1583; Hester Mahieu (Cooke) (J1c2 mtDNA) b.1584; Richard Warren (E-M35) b1578; Elizabeth Walker (Warren) (H1j mtDNA) b1583;
    John Mead (I2a1/P37.2) b1634; Rev. Joseph Hull (I1, L1301+ L1302-) b1595; Benjamin Harrington (M223/I2a2a-Y5729) b1618; Joshua Griffith (L21>DF13) b1593;
    John Wing (U106) b1584; Hermann Wilhelm (DF19) b1635

  13. #30
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    The changes in spelling when looking at PA German lines can be maddening! I have seen mine (potentially) as Schmehl, Schemel, Smael, Schmall, Schnell, Schmale, and the list goes on. Makes it difficult when trying to find German/Prussian Records.

    One my lines (Deibler), had the following variations: Daubenbiss, Debelbesin, Debelbiss, Deivilbiss, Deubelbiss, Deubelbeiss, Deufelbeiss, Dewelbiss, Diebelbiss, Divel, Divelbiss, Divilbiss, Teubel, Teubelbiss, Teufel, Teuffel, Teufelbess, Teuffelbeß, Teuffelbeß, Teuffelbiss.
    Paternal Line: Rhineland Germany (J2-Z387) - Confirmed
    Maternal Grandfather - (Škofja Loka, Slovenia) - R1a1 - Y2613 - Confirmed
    Paternal G-Grandfather - Germany - R1b - U106 - Confirmed
    Maternal G-Grandfather - Briano, Caserta, Italy - Possible R1b - L51

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