Friday, October 15, 2010

Did I say Florika?

OK, you know my dilemma on my great great-grandmother's first name. If not, just review the last couple of entries and you will understand.

After I wrote the last blog, about someone from Reinwald born in 1859 with a similar name, I was informed Maria Florika Reimer's name was actually Maria Flonika Reimer. So, I read the original name in English but completely missed the correct spelling. The r and the i really blended together for me.

I know what you are thinking. You think I was a passenger list recorder or a census taker in a former life. At this point, with reading Florika for Flonika, I think you could be right.

All this does is support my point. Even in English I messed up the name. I think I have followed a time honored tradition of Germans, Russians, Germans from Russia and Americans messing up this name but I did it in my native language. I hope I have now set the record straight.

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?