52 ancestors – the favourite name

This week’s prompt is really interesting as in last week’s genchatDE (the German version of the genchat) we had a discussion on names. How it is not helpful when ancestors carry the same names in different variations. Like Sophia Maria or Maria Sophia or just Sophia or Maria.

So many of my ancestors and family members are named either Catharina, Dorothea, Margaretha, Emma or Elisabeth. Including all of those names in different order. Sometimes it drives me up the wall. How am I supposed to know which of the daughters got married when they all carry the same names?

But neither of those is my favourite name.

I actually have two – well, three if I am allowed to add a last name.

My most favourite last name is NICOLAUS, which is my mother’s maiden name. This family line is always intriguing me. Whenever I open the NICOLAUS folder I find something new. No matter how often I go through the documents, you would think I have seen it all – but no. It’s like a surprise box.

And it is was my great aunt Elsie NICOLAUS who emigrated with her family to the United States in 1929. Her family story is one I cannot get enough of. I am so glad that I “met” her son (well, virtually) and we exchange emails once in a while. He told me a lot about her.

The last Nicolaus I know of is my 3rd great grandfather Johann NIKLAUS. Born about 1820 “somewhere” in East Prussia.

And my most favourite first names?

Those were easy ones. One is my 3rd great uncle Samuel TYLINSKI. Born Feb 14, 1844 in Peterswalde, Osterode county, East Prussia Germany.

Why is he my favourite? It’s the pure sound of the name. Especially, when you pronounce it the German way SA-MU-EL.

And maybe because he was the first crack in my TYLINSKI wall in a very long time.

My other favourite is one of the first names of my 2nd great grandmother: Henrica

Her full name is Henrica Elisabeth Dorothea PETROWSKY (there they are again: Elisabeth and Dorothea). Born June 10, 1845 in Neu Lüblow, grandduchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in Germany.

I actually thought for a while that she might have a twin sister – until I found out that the census document I found was indeed for herself. It was one of those occasions where I sensed that the named woman somehow belonged to my family but I had no idea why yet. She carried another last name and her first names weren’t a 100% fit either. Well, she married again following my 2nd great grandfather just mysteriously disappeared.

You can read her full story here.




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