Monday, 16 April 2007

Tangential webs

I have submitted my fellowship application to the John Oxley Library and now need to practice patience. My other practice of patience has been rewarded and it is the last day of the school holidays. I am very fond of my children and enjoy the more relaxed pace of holidays but having them around all day doesn’t leave much time for reading or research.

Perhaps having to put down the issue of names for a few days has allowed ideas to percolate in my mind. I decided to do a web search looking for genealogies listing people born in Hessen-Kessel in the 1800s. Of these, I came up with a list of: Shafer, Pippert, Heppe, Nusbaum, Buechner, Weaver, Kurth, Timmerman, Zoosman, Roelofson and Kellermeier.

I have the idea that I want my family to be artisans, probably bakers so they have a skill which they can bring with them to Queensland. I also know a lot about traditional methods of bread making so that is not something additional that I would need to research. Many Germans had occupational names and I also wanted to know if “Baker” was a probable name.

My trusty German-English dictionary yielded B├Ącker, which can be rendered as Baecker in the absence of an umlaut. I googled. “Baecker German genealogy.” A long list ensued. In the way of the web, valuable information arrives tangentially. In this case it was through a website that lists German surnames by regions. From this resource I found a list of names that specifically come from Hessen-Kessel: Neusel/Neussel/Neussell, Jaeckel and Dittmar.

Now I am spoiled for choice especially as none of these names appear in my list of names of settlers in this region. The closest are Buch, Pieper, Kuth and Kurz. There is also a Kraut, which suggests someone might have left a name in Germany.

I originally had an inclination towards Wulff or Wolff, which turned out to be a common Prussian name. I think therefore I will choose Jaeckel.

No comments: