[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Suffix -ke

T M Schoenky spaghettitree at aol.com
Sat Nov 16 11:19:17 PST 2013

Hi Katrin -

In my experience, (35 years) and in my family, I believe the -ke ending on a name to be a diminutive, and most of the time originating along the Baltic coast - sometimes on the North Sea, but mostly east.   It has been translated as "little one" or "from the family of (root name, e.g. Rad)" or "from the clan of"..    

Schoenke is a common name in those parts of NE Poland and East Prussia, but my guy (from Königsberg now Kaliningrad), was evidently running from someone or something in 1869, spoke no English,, and never recorded his name as Schoenke in the U.S. that I have found.   So it's Schoenky, and if you find one of those, he's likely my relative.   Which no one can pronounce.    And I haven't found what his second initial (A.) stands for either.     

I didn't much like the fellow named Murphy I dated, but if I had married him for just one day .......  no, on second thought, glad I didn't..


-----Original Message-----
From: Katrin Hanko <katrin at bokser.ee>
To: ger-poland-volhynia <ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org>
Sent: Sat, Nov 16, 2013 10:39 am
Subject: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Suffix -ke


could somebody explain me the meaning or origin of the suffix -ke in many German 
family names - like Radke, Reschke, etc. etc. 

Katrin Hanko
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Ger-Poland-Volhynia at sggee.org


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