Mysterien der Phonetik

Ich suche schon seit einigen Jahren verzweifelt nach den ostpreußischen Vorfahren meiner Mutter.

Es gab diverse Gründe, die ich davon abgehalten haben, mich intensiver mit meiner mütterlichen Linie zu beschäftigen.

Ein Grund war dieses OSTPREUßEN. Gleich zu Beginn meiner Ahnenforscherkarriere bin ich auf einige Ostpreußenforscher gestoßen, die mir diese Region wirklich madig gemacht haben. die waren in ihrer Heimatverbundenheit so radikal und missionarisch.

Da wurde kein Fehler in der Bezeichnung oder Geographie verziehen. Es wurde nicht verstanden, wieso ich der Region nicht dieselbe Verbundenheit und fast Anbetung entgegenbrachte wie sie es taten. Sie kamen mir unwahrscheinlich verbissen vor. Das war nichts für mich. Und so habe ich diese Region lange links liegen gelassen.

Die anderen Gründe lagen alle in der Familie. Meine Oma starb als ich 3 Jahre alt war und ich habe so gar keine Erinnerung an sie. Meine Großeltern liessen sich scheiden, als meine Mutter noch ein Kind war, und der Kontakt zu meine Großvater war auch eher sporadisch. Er intensivierte sich etwas, als wir Kinder waren aber liess später auch wieder nach. Von daher gab es da nicht viele Informationen. Von meinem Großvater existierten wenigstens noch ein paar wenige Fotos seiner Kindheit und der Eltern, aber das war es auch schon.

Von meiner Oma allerdings? Fast gar nichts. Und ich habe es auch immer verpasst, ihren Bruder auszufragen, obwohl das Verhältnis zu ihm sehr gut war. Aber als Jugendliche war ich noch nicht soooo an Ahnenforschung interessiert. Und meine Mutter und deren Schwestern kennen noch nicht mal den Namen der Großmutter, außer “Oma Johanna”.

Irgendwann fiel mir dann das Testament ihres Vaters Albert TILINSKI, der 1974 gestorben ist, in die Hände. Dort waren wenigstens ein paar Informationen von ihm enthalten:

  • sein Geburtsdatum
  • 3 Eheschliessungen, allerdings die ersten beiden, die für mich interessant sein könnten, ohne den Namen der Ehefrau, aber immerhin.
  • die Namen seiner Eltern inklusive Beruf seines Vaters

Der Beruf seines Vaters räumte dann übrigens auch mit dieser alten Familiengeschichte auf, dass die väterliche Linie meiner Mutter “alter deutscher Landadel” war und ihr Großvater das “von” beim Glücksspiel verlor. Manchmal ist es schon erstaunlich, wie lange sich Familienmythen so halten – egal, wie unlogisch sie klingen!

Aber kommen wir jetzt zu der Phonetik. Der Name meiner UrUrgroßmutter auf dem Testament ihres Sohnes war mit Veronika Czaschkowski angegeben. Und irgendwann kam dann auch wieder der Zeitpunkt, an dem ich mir meiner mütterliche Linie vornahm. Aber egal wie sehr ich suchte und links und rechts guckte, ich fand zu diesem Namen in der Konstellation gar nichts.

Dann kam mein Trip nach Salt Lake City zur Rootstech und meine beiden Tage in der Family History Library. Und nach meinem öffentlichen Heulen auf twitter, dass meine Tilinski / Czaschkowski Familie scheinbar einfach vom Himmel gefallen sind, hatte ich am nächsten Morgen ein paar emails mit Dokumenten in meinem Postfach. Unter anderem den Geburtseintrag meines Urgroßvaters Albert TILINSKI. Und wie waren seine Eltern angegeben? Gottfried TILINSKI und Veronika TRZASKOWSKI.

Wie bitte??

Aber wozu hat man in diesem freizügen Europa heutzutage polnische Freunde. Eine schnelle Whatsapp Nachricht nach Berlin mit der Bitte, mir den Namen vorzulesen und kurze Zeit später kam die Sprachnachricht zurück. Und für einen Deutschen klingt das polnische TRZASKOWSKI sehr ähnlich wie CZASCHKOWSKI.

Ich kann mir sehr wohl vorstellen, dass meine UrUroma auf einem deutschen Amt nach dem Krieg ihren Namen nannte und der nette Herr hinter der Glasscheibe (so stelle ich mir das auf jeden Fall vor) einfach schrieb, was er hörte. Und so wurde aus TRZASKOWSKI ein CZASCHKOWSKI.

Und so wurde ich das erste Mal Opfer von Namensänderungen auf Grund von Phonetik.

Kein Wunder, dass ich nie etwas gefunden habe!

P.S. und seit dieser Erkenntnis habe ich nicht nur meinen Uropa gefunden, sondern auch drei Schwestern und einen Bruder, sowie einen Onkel plus Familie. Aber die Geschichte erzähle ich ein anderes Mal.

 

Maybe a hint on my Nicolaus family?

I have two main family lines: Schmidt is my fathers name, Nicolaus my mothers.

Since my Moms family is from East Prussia which is in today’s Poland and quite difficult to research I mostly focussed on my Dads family.

But every once in a while I take a look at those Nicolaus. And some of the best records I have is about them. You might remember Albert Karl Julius Nicolaus, my greatgrandfather. Or Else Nicolaus, my greataunt.

I already told you once about Eva Nicolaus, her sister. Here a short summary of what I “knew” or hear about her:

  • born abt. 1898 in Königsberg, East Prussia
  • married to a Hans (or Wilhelm) Matthis
  • divorced or widowed during WWII
  • remarried a british officer and moved to Liverpool

And then I had a success in my research for Else. Barbara Schenk, another genealogy blogger helped me out and via her I got 2 obituaries for Else.

obituary Elsie Nicolaus

obituary Elsie Nicolaus

There it is mentioned that she is survived by two sisters:

  • Mrs. Eva Phillips and
  • Mrs. Lilo Lynch, both in Australia

Now I had at least the married family names for her sisters. Although I still have to figure out the real relationship with Lilo Lynch née Berger, from my understanding she was a stepsister of Eva and Else. If not, I have a wrong information on the mother of the two ;)

My next step was to turn to the various google+ genealogy groups I am a member of. Since both were mentioned to live in Australia I started with the Genealogy & Family History Australia & New Zealand and this was my post:

in the obituary of my great grand aunt who died in New Jersey, USA in 1969 it is mentioned that she is survived by her sister Eva Phillips in Australia. The only thing I know about her is the following (all family history, nothing proven yet): born as Eva Nicolaus abt. 1898 in Koenigsberg, East Prussia, Germany she was married to a Hans (or Wilhelm) Matthis, they got seperated at WWII and she supposedly married a british Army officer, they moved to Liverpool and went on to Australia. I have no idea when and how. Any ideas, where to start in Australia?

And I received some great replies to it. One was from Kerryn Taylor, an Australian Genealogist and she found an Eva L Nicolaus marrying a Phillips in Q2/1949 in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales. She actually found two records for that place in the quarter: One John P Phillips married (surname) Matthew Or Nicolaus and the other Perce J Phillips and Matthes Or Nicolaus.  Two matching spouses Eva L Nicolaus and Eva L Matthes.  Perhaps two records for same marriage?

And because she read through my older blogs she stumbled over Lily or Lilo Lynch née Berger. She also found a marriage in Q2/1947 in Surrey, England for a Lieselotte Berger and Eric S Lynch. Could that be my Lily or Lilo?

She referred me to the site http://www.freebmd.org.uk where I could find the indices for the marriage records. With that information I could go to http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/ and order those records for Eva and Lily.

And now I keep my fingers crossed that those are really “MY” Eva and Lily.

Wish me luck ;)

#52ancestors No. 11 I have news on Elsie!!

This is part eleven of Amy Crow’s challenge “52 Ancestors”. Take a look at “no story too small” to find all the great bloggers who are taking part!

52ancestors

You might remember my greataunt Else Nicolaus. If you would like to refresh your memory, just take a look here (or here where I introduce you to her husband Paul).

Every once in a while I turn back to her and her family because I am really fascinated by her story.

Here a short re-cap from my original blogpost about her:

  • born October 22, 1900 in Koenigsberg, East Prussia
  • married Paul Hugo Rudolf KOPPETSCH on December 12, 1920 in Koenigsberg, East Prussia
  • followed her husband to the United States on April 26, 1929 (with her three children)
  • found her in the 1930 census
  • declared her intention to become a US citizen in 1937
  • missing in the census of 1940

And I had this card:

Elsie Koppetsch Namensänderung

From some previous help I knew she moved to Paterson, NJ between 1937 and 1949 where she was found as Elsie M. Veaudry in the city directory. I actually have no idea, where this “M” is coming from.

And then I received here via the blog an email from a wonderful genealogist called Barbara Schenk asking if I could help her with a translation of a German record. Of course I could and she asked me if she could be of any help with any US related research.

So I referred her to the two blogs asking for any hint she could find.

She contacted the Paterson library for help and a few days ago I found the announced envelope in my mailbox.

The librarian sent her some obituaries and copies of the city directories.

Here is one example of the obituaries.

obituary Elsie Nicolaus

obituary Elsie Nicolaus

This is great! Now I don’t only know her exact death date, but I also know that she and George moved to Paterson already in 1946. And they had a son together: Robert.

And I always wondered if the namechange of her husband from last name Koppetsch to Kay also held true for the children. At least for William I know now it was true.

And I have a married last name for her daughter Eva (Booth).

And I also told you about Elsie’s sister Eva. And I have a married last name for her now and know that she moved to Australia.

The existence of another sister Lilo is news to me. And it puzzles me a bit since in her passenger list from 1929 a Lilo Berger is named as her closest relative: her mother. But as far as I know Lilo Berger was her stepmother following the divorce of her parents.

I have to dig deeper into this!

But I have to tell you that when I read the lines with the surviving sisters in Australia I found it so sad that her German family hadn’t been mentioned at all. I mean, she had a surviving brother and sister there, too. Half siblings but nevertheless siblings. Too sad that they never really had contact. Only when my grandfather and greataunt had been children.

And here an example of the city directory:

city directory 1962

city directory 1962

It is wonderful to be able to tie some loose ends… well, and get some new ones ;)

  • where is she for the 1940 census
  • when did she get divorced from Paul
  • when did she marry George
  • and when was their son Robert born

I have to thank Barbara Schenk for her tremendous help with this!

 

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March 5 – Horst Walter Tylinski

With signing the Treaty of Ribe on March 5, 1460, the danish king Christian I. also becomes ruler of Schleswig and Holstein.

On March 5, 1853 Heinrich Steinweg founds the piano manufacturer “Steinway & Sons” in New York. Today the company has production sites in New York and Hamburg.

And on my family tree?

It will be a short blogpost today. I just have one event. And it is a sad one, I might add.

My first cousin once removed Horst Walter  TYLINSKI died on March 5, 1938 in Korschen, East Prussia, Germany (today’s Korsze in Poland) being not even one year old.

He was born on March 10, 1938 in Korschen, East Prussia into the marriage of Otto Horst TYLINSKI and his wife Lieselotte née ECKARDT.

This is my mom’s cousin and from her I know that Otto Horst has three additional children, but she couldn’t confirm, if Lieselotte was the mother. Therefore I added them with an unknown mother into my database. From at least two of these children I know they are still alive – I won’t mention their names and dates here.

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January 27 – Harry Tylinski

There are those days for which I don’t have to surf the net for interesting historical events. E.g. November 9 was a day like that.

And today is another one. A combination of “excessive” history classes in school and just plainly being German those events are stored in my mind and not even a formatting of the brain would get rid of it.

Today in 1859 the future King of Prussia and Emperor of Germany Wilhelm II. is born as Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert von Preussen in Berlin. He belongs to the House of Hohenzollern and is the grandchild of not only of Emperor Wilhelm I. but also of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. If you are interested in his family tree: he was also a first cousin-in-law of Tsar Nicholas II. of Russia.

The second historical event for today happened on January 27, 1945. It is the liberation of the concentration camp Auschwitz by the Russian Red Army.

Auschwitz was a complex of three camps: the main camp as well as Auschwitz-Birkenau and Auschwitz-Monowitz. Within 5 years from 1940 to 1945 Nazi Germany killed at least 1,1 mn Jews, 140.000 Polish, 20.000 Sinti, 20.000 Roma, 10.000 soviet prisoners of war and 10.000 prisoners of war of other nationalities at Auschwitz only. Following World War II Auschwitz became a symbol for the Shoa.

Today the remains of the complex which form a Museum are a UNESCO World Heritage site called “Auschwitz-Birkenau – deutsches nationalsozialistisches Konzentrations- und Vernichtungslager“.

Well, following a topic like this it is hard to move on to my family tree. But I think the best we can do to honour our ancestors is to remember them.

We move to my mother’s side for this one. Parts of her family come from East Prussia, which is part of Poland today.

My Mom’s uncle, my greatuncle Harry TYLINSKI is born on January 27, 1920 in Korschen, East Prussia (today: Korsze in Poland). Harry was the next older brother of my grandma.

Compared to the prologue my “real” family post will be rather short. Because unfortunately he just had a short life.

Like many other young men his age he joined (or had to join, who can tell the difference) the German Navy during WWII.

He is lost at sea in the Strait of Kerch in the Black Sea (today’s Ukraine) on March 14, 1943.

I found his name on the Laboe Naval Memorial in Kiel, Germany. And he is also registered with the “Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V“.

That is

[quote]

a humanitarian organization which is charged by the Federal Republic of taking care of registering the German war dead abroad and to ensuring that it is updated and monitored

[end quote]

If you search for German ancestors / cousins who fought and got killed in WWII, their page is great. They have a search function for war memorial cemetaries they maintain.

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