Sunday, October 10, 2010

Will the Fronika story ever end?

I met someone on Facebook who was born in Sheboygan and whose ancestors come from Reinwald, Russia.

After he shared some pictures he had taken during his trip to Reinwald, I mentioned I was researching the surname Reimer. He told me his family tree includes a Maria Flonika Reimer born in Reinwald in 1859. She married Johann Kraus.

Flonika? Really? After all of the versions of Fronika that I had researched, could another spelling be possible?

Maria was born in 1859, two years after the 1857 census. Was it possible that she could be my great-grandfather's younger sister? Another child of Fronika Gusman Reimer? Or, a niece? With a name like Flonika, my instincts tell me Fronika Reimer would have likely used her name for a daughter's middle name. I know I did. I used Ann instead of Anna for my oldest daughter's middle name. It is a centuries old tradition, especially with Germans from Russia who felt obligated to have four Anna's and five Maria's in every generation. But, I digress. The point truly is Fronika vs. Flonika. It is merely a coincidence? Or, would you wager Flonika is the daughter of Fronika!

Share with me your thoughts. What does your gut instinct tell you?

1 comment:

Scott said...

Any spelling is possible. My grandpa's name was changed when he came through Ellis Island and since he was German-Russian, I'm sure each time he spoke to someone they asked him his name. I'm sure he had an accent which would have made it hard for some people to understand him, so each person spelled it the way they thought it was spelled.

Then add to that German Script which is sometimes hard to read and there could be many different versions of how a name was spelled. Scott in Sheboygan (Grandma and her parents came from Reinwald)