[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Dutch vs. German - Bloch/Block

Foote, Daniel dfoote at okstate.edu
Mon Sep 16 10:59:21 PDT 2013

I'm behind because I started a new job this weekend. Hopefully I can add

1. Some branches of the Block surname, especially those found in North and
Central Poland, are of Dutch origin.  See my post here and the links I
give: http://mennonitegenealogyforum.com/forum/Thread-van-der-Block

2. Charlotte Dubay: Is it possible that your ggm spoke "Pennsylvania
Dutch"? This is not actually Dutch, but a form of High German. But because
of the Block surname, 'Dutch' might me correct.

3. Low German/Saxon is its own language family, separate from High German.
Within it there are dialects. Frisian is also its own language. One of its
dialects is West Frisian. To confuse matters, one dialect of Low German is
East Frisian.

4. Imagine a continuum, or spectrum. On the left, English. On the right,
High German. Starting from the right, moving left. Leaving High German in
the south and central areas and moving north, you encounter dialects that
get closer to Low German. Tag ('day') becomes Dag (g like k). Moving
further left you reach Dutch. Dag (dak) becomes Dag (g like ch in the back
of the mouth). Moving further left you reach Frisian. The consonant of Dag
is lost, becoming 'dei' prounounced like English 'day'. Frisian is the
closest related language to English. In 1066, the Anglo-Saxons and the
Frisians would have been able to understand each other.

> Message: 3
> Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2013 15:23:08 -0400
> From: Otto <otto at schienke.com>
> To: Charlotte Dubay <hoeserhistory at aol.com>
> Cc: ger-poland-volhynia at sggee.org
> Subject: Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] difference betw Dutch and German
>         language?
> Message-ID: <17EF2CA6-945B-4B31-A1D4-E3FF39B9594B at schienke.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> On Sep 13, 2013, at 2:51 PM, Charlotte Dubay wrote:
> >
> > What pleasure this mailing list brings...thank you all...
> >
> > Another question, triggered by your posts:
> > My Block ancestors (German Lutherans) lived in Posen area (about 100 NE
> of Berlin) from 1700-1892, until my great-grandparents came to USA.
> >
> > My great-grandmother Wilhelmina Meyer Block spoke Dutch, but was born in
> Posen, baptized in near-by Lobsens.
> >
> > Any ideas on why grgrandmother spoke Dutch? If her parents were Dutch,
> you would still think she learned German in Posen. How different does Dutch
> sound from German? (Great-grandmother passed away 2 years before I was
> born, so I never heard anyone speak Dutch. Guess I should google a
> translation program and hear what it at least "sounds" like!)
> Block, Bloch, Blech as the spelling dances with the vowel sound. Block
> sounds anglicized, (ck use). . .maybe.
> Grandma probably spoke a Frisian (name sounds frisian) or Lower Saxon
> dialect. Very similar to Dutch(Deutsch).  All are Lowland German dialects.
> The German of the North Sea and Baltic coast shores was Platt-Deutsch,
> Flatland/Lowland German.
> She didn't learn German from anyone in Posen, she already spoke it.
> Since 1871 it became fashionable to speak the "Hochdeutsch"/High German of
> Luther's bible (in public anyway) High German has nothing to do with
> superiority of language, it was geographical, the speech of the hill
> dwellers from Luther's vicinity. I refer to it as 'hilly saxon.'
> . . .   Otto
>          " The Zen moment..." wk. of January 01, 2013-
>                 _____________________________________
>                   "Answers out there . . .  Seeking us."
> Message: 6
> Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2013 15:49:14 -0400 (EDT)
> From: Charlotte Dubay <hoeserhistory at aol.com>
> To: ger-poland-volhynia at sggee.org
> Subject: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] difference betw Dutch and German
>         language?
> Message-ID: <8D07ED17582D370-C60-173A9 at webmail-d261.sysops.aol.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> Thank you, Otto.
> A note to the list:
> Yes, I microfiched Posen (Sokolitz) records, and indeed, the surname Block
> was spelled Block, Bloch, Blech, throughout time. (DOBs and given names
> confirmed they were same family).
> Also, I had read some history of the high German being from the high lands
> -
> NOTHING to do with superiority of language -
> but the Germans of the Dakotas forgot to read that paragraph! hah.
> You clarified (Low Saxton/lowland/platt deutch) definition for me.
> I hadn't thought of it being a "dialect" of German!
> That certainly would explain it - beings it doesn't look like she ever
> even visited Holland! hah.
> Had to google "Frisian" - a German ethnic group from Netherland area, in
> case someone else doesn't know.
> Thank you again, Otto
> And thank you, Frank, for confirming that I had the right Heimthal!
> Charlotte DuBay
> hoeserhistory at aol.com

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