[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Kwiatkowski - Bluemke

Spaghettitree at aol.com Spaghettitree at aol.com
Tue Sep 2 07:49:26 PDT 2008

Hello Otto - I believe we have crossed paths here before!  And it is most 
tempting to think that perhaps our families are linked somewhere, back a few 
centuries, perhaps, by virtue of both of us having Schoenke and Schönke in the 
Baltic region.  If you have any knowledge of an Otto or Anton Schoenke and 
Katherine von Federau in or around Frauenberg/Frombork or Königsberg/Kaliningrad, 
around the early 1800-1845 period, then we would definitely have a connection.   

You are absolutely correct in that (in my 22 years of doing Germanic research 
for people) the spellings of names vary greatly, from place to place, from 
time to time, from person to person, and as we see here so eloquently, from 
language to language, so we cannot really consider a different spelling to be 
incorrect.   You are also correct in that we must prove our connections by a paper 

But I would take exception, please, on the notion that Americans have an 
"obsession" with pronunciations - that's just a whole new and interesting concept  
to me, Otto. I should think if it applies to Americans, then it applies to 
everyone across the board.   I know a smattering  of German, French, Spanish and 
Latin, very little Polish and Russian - and in the process of long years of 
research,I've discovered  most Americans don't want to learn foreign languages, 
though it helps a great deal in this genealogical research as we see here, 
thanks to people like you.   Each language is performed differently, and each 
has many, many local versions, and each evolves over the centuries.    And the 
language each of us learns as a child is necessarily different from that 
learned as an adult.  I am far better at pronouncing French and Spanish than I am 
German, especially Plattdeutsch.  

By the way, my family pronounces Schoenky as "Shane'-key".  And it still 
comes out as a sneeze by most people, no matter how many times I spell it or 
pronounce it.  Most Americans just cannot handle the German (or American!) 
pronunciation at all, and I do not answer to the German version either.  Numerous 
German friends have informed me I am pronouncing my own name incorrectly, but in 
America, not true. I understand that does not work in Germany.  That's why I 
ask everyone to just call me Maureen!   I am aware of the -ke ending and its 
meanings, so likewise you surely know that Schoen means beautiful or handsome - 
so perhaps your 'long-shanks' are handsome ones, to boot!    I consider my 
father and his brothers and their father  to have been handsome, but tall, no, 
none to my knowledge.  There are  thousands of Schoenke people in America, lots 
of them in and around Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and more in Texas and elsewhere, 
but I have found only one case of another Schoenky family, in Milwaukee.   That 
spelling is just an aberration, which I suspect was caused by an American in 
St. Louis, Missouri who had no knowledge - or perhaps just did not care - about 
the correct spelling, and my immigrant ancestor did not bother to enforce the 
Schoenke spelling either; as I have been told, he resisted learning English 
(though his wife did) and was a very tough, cold, old-school Prussian.   He was 
a cabinet-maker.  His wife was not exactly a sweetheart, either (from 

Maureen Schoenky

It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel 
deal here.

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