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Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Meanderings About the Swiss Wife's Surname

Like all good things that fall into my lap this article happened indirectly while searching the Internet for the surname Jenny of Glarus Switzerland with Wisconsin location. I had been inspired by the familiarity of the name of the Swiss ancestors of Laura Ann at Dreaming About Home blog. On reading the surname Jenny from Switzerland. I thought i I had seen the name at the cemetery in Jo Davies county Illinois [Not wanting to go through the cemeteries all over again, since I with two spearate sources went through them twice this last week] Instead I chose to just browse the name hoping it would show up at Galena in Jo Daviess county, Illinois.

I did run into many interesting aricles with the names and other places in Glarus Switzerland, and other surnames from Canton Glarus Switzerland settling in Wisconsin.
There were actually quite a few in Jo Davies county. It is not surprising too how much interactions of settlers in Galena and those of Wsconin that I have read about in this last month.


Now lets get to the surprising information in this article.

"Swiss Census" of Jefferson and Switzerland Counties"

[Click my title for more of the article link]

This article is useful for recognizing a Swiss surname. It told of Swiss surnames and gave examples. . It mentioned that names looked like ordinary German names like Schmidt, Schenck, and Siebbenthal, proven Swiss immigrants, who mixed in with German settlers who were not of Swiss origin.
Certain names are good indicators, such as Camille, Aristides, and Arieste, especially when combined with French-sounding last names. Also notable is the French use of the same first name for several sons in the family so that in the Dufours we have John (Jean) Jacques, John Francis, and John Ami with the Mottiers, John David, J?? The use of Frederick and Francis (often as John Frederick and John Francis, likewise often point toward French or Swiss origin..
I have seen this practice of putting the wife's maiden name in the sons name in my family line and I had not took it for Swiss back ground. I am going to have to look into those I have seen in my family,
Another Swiss naming custom is worthy to note, because it affected how names were reported in records. The Swiss typically add the wife's maiden name to the husband's name, and vice versa. So Vincent Daniel Dufour Blanc was a son of John James (Jean Jacques) Dufour who married a woman surnamed Blanc. Perret Dufour pointed to Zelim Humbert-Droz as another example.

However, this may not have been a good example since Humbert-Droz has been a Swiss name for hundreds of years. The other instance was Louis Gex Oboussier. Since Perret Dufour said Louis was the brother-in-law of Luke Oboussier it means that Louis Gex married Oboussier's sister.
It is apparent that there were German-speakers from France, often from Alsace-Lorraine, who passed through Switzerland on their way to the United States and that many of these were Catholic, while most of the French-speakers were Protestant. But is very difficult to sort out all of these
different streams. I left some doubtful cases in this list.

You might find other interesting tidbits in the article, so go ahead and browse it yourself.

One article refered to Dunn co. Wi where my Jungk family resided. I think sometimes we have to consider the occupation the immigrant wishes to pursue. Or if finally able to afford a farm where did they find the land available for their purchase according to their change in their pocket. Pursuing the message board of the area at rootsweb and at Ancestry i have noted quite a few Swiss who had also settled into Buffalo county. Maybe some day, I can pursue some similarities of origin there too.

Thanks for stopping by for todays meanderings. I made a few notes of other things I saw, which just as easily can flow accross your screen by the same kind of browsing. Happy reading.
just me jo.

2 comments:

  1. Naming practices are really helpful for those early settlers. I always research the naming practices of my various immigrant families --- so different, yet similar.

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  2. yes, I think the two Meyer brothers stuck to it the kind of the same way. both named their first son William keeping the Heinrich name in it. they both had sons name Otto and Friedrich. And used the name August. I Just have to figure where they got Otto, August and William. I can figure that William did name his son william plus the other names from his father. But Fred was already in America. Unless he named him after his brother.
    Now their father worked for the game reserve established by Kaiser Wilhelm 1, so I heard. I had always wondered if they named their first boy child, William for that reason. But then William was born 1843 and he didn't start working there or move there until 1845. Unless William was in a third name not shown on the birth records of the godfather. I can't figure out where the William came from?Especially since he was their first born son.?

    Oh well.
    Then Fred Jr's family went crazy living in an American community full of Irish, Scot and English with names like Lulu and Nettie, etc. lol.
    Freds were all born here, but his brother Williams first half were born in Germany and influenced by those around him. His second half were influenced by church members in america.

    Don't you think it changed in the rural areas. Somewhat? And of course the generations changed a lot. Instead of William we get Wilbert, and Walter instead, etc.


    yup, you summed it so different yet similar.

    Excuse my Chatter, thanks for dropping by.

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