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In Part 1, we learned about Jacob and Elisabeth Holstein's origins near Stuttgart and their attempt at farming the swampy heathlands of Schleswig-Holstein for Denmark. Jacob's farming skills were apparently not up-to-snuff as he was unceremoniously dismissed of his colonization duties after only 2 years in June 1763.

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On To Russia

They left the Flensburg area and departed to Russia from Lubeck.
As fate would have it, just one month after Jacob was dismissed from his Schleswig farm Catherine the Great of Russia signed a manifesto inviting colonists to settle the Russian Steppes along the Volga River between Saratov and Volgograd. She offered some of the same enticements offered by Denmark.

At first, the goal was to bring an array of skill sets to Russia (not just farmers), as Catherine the Great wanted the Russian peasants to learn from the more culturally advanced Western Europeans. That was the theory anyway. In reality, once in Russia everyone was expected to farm.

With nothing left to lose, Jacob signed his family up to join this new group of colonists heading to Russia. His location at the time probably influenced this decision. The launching point for the journey to Russia was in nearby Lubeck.

The Russian recruiters actually targeted the dismissed Schleswig colonists. Hey, they at least had experience colonizing, right? Also recruited were successful farmers who wanted to desert their farm in Schleswig after several of the initial promises from Denmark ended or failed to materialize in the first place.

The trek to the Volga colonies was a long one. From Lubeck, they went by ship to Oranienbaum (near St. Petersburg) where they were welcomed and swore an allegience to the Russian crown. Like the trip to Denmark, Russia paid travel expenses and provided daily allowances. However, many unscrupulous ship captains purposely made the journey longer until the Germans exhausted their food supply and had to pay inflated prices for additional provisions from the captain.

General route from Germany to Volga River colonies in the 1760's. No, I'm not much of a graphics artist.
The Baltic Sea portion of the journey alone was 900 miles. Then another 1500 miles (guestimating using Google Maps) by land/river down to Galka. This move was permanent. While a few colonists might have attempted to leave after their arrival, the vast majority would have no choice but to commit to this new life. Because as you can see from the map, they were a long way from home and the Russian government sure wasn't about to pay for their travel expenses BACK to Germany.

Galka was founded on 12 August 1764. Jacob and Elisabeth arrived in the colony on July 1st, 1765. They are listed with a 4 year old daughter named Regina and a 1 year old named Maria. A 1798 census shows Regina as 36 years old, which would put her birth around 1762. As you may remember from Part 1, no children were recorded in June 1763 when Jacob was dismissed by Denmark. In any case, Elisabeth was most likely pregnant at the time they were left without a home and had a second child by the time they arrived in their new home 3 years later.

A New Life in Galka

Present-Day Galka on the banks of the Volga River
Here's where the paper trail for Jacob and Elisabeth goes cold; though we do know of the general conditions all colonists faced in this new land. Life in the colonies along the Volga were very hard. One big problem they had to contend with was a security problem. The native Kyrgyz and other nomads who had lived in the area did not take kindly to this sudden influx of communities and people. The Kyrgyz regularly raided villages, killing colonists and plundering.

To make matters worse, the Russian government had not provided pre-built housing in these new villages. The colonists had to build their own when they got there. For many colonists, there was not enough time before winter set in. Many were left cold and starving.

The first years were also plagued with poor growing seasons. Not only did they have to contend with a years long drought cycle that just happened to coincide with the initial settlement, but the government failed to provide crop seeds on a timely basis. It took at least 10 years for them to get a good enough harvest to start cultivating their own seeds. Once they were self-sufficient, the new colonies prospered. For unlike the Schleswig land, the banks of the Volga were very fertile.

The Russian government set up what was called a "Mir" system of land allotment. Each village was given a certain amount of land when it was first established. The colonists then divided up that land equally between each family depending on how many males were in the family. The more sons you had, the more land you got. Periodically (every 8 to 12 years or so) the land was redivided based on the current population. Because the amount of land for the village was never increased, when a village got too populated people would leave to establish a new colony.

Since no one actually owned any land, no one lived on the farms. Everyone lived in the village and would travel out to the farmland to work it.

We know from the 1798 census that Jacob and Elisabeth went on to have two more children - both boys. Jacob was born sometime around 1769 and Georg Heinrich about 1772. This census is unique in that it includes the maiden names of the women. So we also know that Regina was married to Johann Fuchs by this time and Maria had apparently not survived. Whether she died as a child or as an adult (she would have been about 33 in 1798) is not known. Jacob and Elisabeth are not in the 1798 census, so they most likely did not survive either. They didn't make it to the age of 60.


I am descended from Jacob and Elisabeth's son Jacob. This Jacob married Anna Marie Krug, who's family was another of the Schleswig colonists. The Krugs were not dismissed and had been on their Schleswig farm as late as February, 1765. They must have been one of the later colonists to make it to Russia. They initially settled in the Russian village called Grimm. Anna moved to Galka when she married Jacob.

Jacob and Elisabeth's 3 surviving children went on to have at least 9 children of their own. One hundred and fifty years after their arrival in Russia, there were far more than a hundred who could trace their ancestry back to this couple. Many of them fled the Russian Revolution by doing what their forebears did so long ago - they packed up and moved even further away from home. Canada, the U.S. and South America were still welcoming emigrants with open arms.

Obviously there are no pictures or drawings of Jacob and Elisabeth. However, I do have a lot of pictures of their descendants. Maybe from looking at a number of different descendants, one can begin to imagine the sort of common look that may give a hint of Jacob and/or Elisabeth's appearance. It doesn't really matter in this context who anyone is, so I'll leave out names. Though in some cases, I'll indicate what generation they are from. They are mostly all people born before or right around 1900. The Holsteins in the pictures are all of the men. The women will be spouses from other familes (except the last two pictures).

My great-grandfather, Friedrich who would have been Jacob and Elisabeth's great-grandson.
My grandparents. My grandfather's mother was also a Holstein, so he's got double the Holstein genes. Most of the others can most likely be assumed to be of his generation (give or take).
This is the exception. The woman on the far left is a Holstein (Mary Kerbs). Actually, except for the deceased and the woman right next to Mary, the rest are Mary's children. So they'd all be Holstein descendants as well.
Most of the people in this picture are Holstein descendants. The lady labeled Mary Kerbs in the front row is the same woman mentioned in the funeral picture above.
I included the funeral picture just to bring up an interesting cultural tidbit about the Volga Germans. Once photography was introduced, they took up the custom of taking pictures of mourners surrounding the open casket. I have a couple other pictures of other funerals.

I guess that wraps up this story. There isn't a lot to tell about the 150 years in Russia. They pretty much stayed, farming the land, for generation after generation until the 1880's when anti-German sentiment started taking over Russia. In 1905, my grandmother's family left, leaving behind her newly married oldest sister. In 1913, my grandfather left on his own to meet up with his Uncle in Canada.

In the early 1920's, there were mass famines where thousands starved - including, most likely, my great-grandmother.

In 1941, Stalin exiled all Germans from the Volga region and dispersed them in labor camps throughout Kazakhstan and Siberia. This was an estimated 440,000 people. About 30-40% of the entire German-Russian population died or were flat out killed during this time.

And with that lovely thought, I'll open it up to the floor.

Do you have any Genealogical New Years Resolutions or simply goals for this year?

Mine is to finally start conducting phone interviews with my Dad and write his memoirs in time for his 90th birthday in July. I was all set to start last weekend, but he was out when I called. I'm going to try again this weekend. My goal is to package together a book with the other memoirs and histories published that I've found, as well as what I've found in my own research. The purpose of these last two Open Thread diaries was to give myself a head start on that. These will be included in the book.

I'm also hoping to find sources who have access to the archives in Saratov to try to get my grandfather's baptismal record.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I love the way (7+ / 0-)

    you merge the personal family experiences with the history of the areas where they resided.

    And I love the photos.

    Do you know what the significance of the long-ribboned corsage is that the groom is wearing?  Is it just a tradition?  I haven't seen that before.

  •  A very interesting story (7+ / 0-)

    What forces (most often political and economic) cause people to uproot themselves is fascinating.

    My personal goals for 2013 are too many to mention. My genealogical goals are (1) to finish write-ups I started on all the New England direct ancestors. As you get far back, each generation has many people. There's a wealth of information about the early New England colonists in many cases, so it's a big job. I got back 9 generations before me, but generations 10 and 11 is unfinished.; (2) to collect memories of my mother, who died in 2000, from everyone I can, and compile them.

    I would not mind smashing a few brick walls and meeting in person a few more cousins I met online.

    Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

    by fenway49 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:42:14 AM PST

  •  Forgot to add (7+ / 0-)

    I absolutely love the photos!

    Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

    by fenway49 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:42:49 AM PST

  •  so, how long have you (you plural) been at this? (6+ / 0-)

    just curious. This is a question for all y'all. :-)

    I only started in January 2011, but have huge gaps where I left off for one reason or another, so its really only a true grand total of maybe 8 or 10 months max. Im barely scratching the surface! Still learning my way around with a lot of things. (See my next comment, I need help!! again! heh.)

    Get out there and get peace, think peace, live peace, and breathe peace, and you'll get it as soon as you like.” ~ John Lennon

    by Lady Libertine on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:57:59 AM PST

  •  Calling all volunteers (7+ / 0-)

    to host a very own Friday GFHC Open Thread of your very own

    Our current schedule

    Jan 11   fenway49
    Jan 18   mayim
    Jan 25   marykk
    Feb 1    open for adoption
    Feb 8    open for adoption

    Anyone ready to step up and tell your ancestor's story?  Or have any helpful suggestions for researchers?

    •  If nobody else wants (6+ / 0-)

      I can take Feb. 8th. I have a bunch of stuff in reserve, so to speak, but want to leave it open for anyone else who's interested.

      Is there any interest in me doing my posts on Tuesdays or would it be better to do them Fridays a few hours after Open Thread?

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 10:15:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You got Feb 8. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raina, Jim H, figbash, Land of Enchantment

        I like mid-week GFHC diaries, although because we're so conditioned to look for them on Fridays, we forget to look for them during the week (and I never remember to look at my stream).  Plus, I think participation has been down recently because of the holidays.

        So anytime you want to post a GFHC diary, please feel free. But if you know in advance that you're planning to post one, it might help to let us know the previous Friday.  In fact, if I know soon enough, I can post your diary date in the weekly Open Thread Diary Volunteer call.

    •  I'll take Feb 1 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim H, Land of Enchantment, edwardssl

      I'm starting to have withdrawal symptoms. The genealogy and family history addiction is incurable but treatable.

      I need a fix.

      I've been bad. I got distracted by the events of life and found myself on the wagon. Commiting to an open thread gives me a reason to jump off the wagon again.

      It's a great incentive to get out and about. My list of places I want to visit to do more research is long. A kick in the couch potato is a good thing.

      Besides, I'm really glad that 2012 is over. I'm sure I'm not alone.

      "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

      by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:41:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  my personal genealogy goal (6+ / 0-)

    I think is to focus on my difficult Swiss Ancestors. I'm talking about their lineage, not their personalities. ;)

    Live your life. Take chances. Be crazy. Don't wait. Because right now is the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you'll be ever again.-- some wise person on the Internets.

    by raina on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 10:32:24 AM PST

    •  All my ancestors were difficult. (6+ / 0-)

      And I do mean their personalities ;-)

      (explains a lot about me, btw)

    •  I have a Swiss branch (6+ / 0-)

      on my Mom's tree. Her Staley (Stehli) branch (and I guess his wife, a Mizkel) were supposedly from Switzerland. They came over in the early 1700's. So any record in Switzerland would be REALLY old. Last time I looked, familysearch didn't have much indexed for Switzerland (at least the area I think they are from).

      •  yeah been there re: Family Search (4+ / 0-)

        and Ancestry, too.

        You reminded me I need to go to a FHC to browse images of one of those group of records. According to the website, you have to go there to search them, but other records you can do from home. Not understanding why this is so. I did register there, so still can't search from home.

        Nevertheless, I mentioned before about a flash-drive full of photos and records of my Swiss family. What a godsend! Certificates of place of origin- Provence for ggma and Bern for ggpa, but they were born in Ste Croix and Chaux-de-Milieu respectively. I'd have died and gone to heaven if I ever found that on LDS microfilm, but family members had it in their possession all along. Still, need to go beyond my ggparents.

        Live your life. Take chances. Be crazy. Don't wait. Because right now is the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you'll be ever again.-- some wise person on the Internets.

        by raina on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 11:00:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  have you tried browsing images (4+ / 0-)

        seems like an insurmountable chore, I know.

        The church book extracts has a list of surnames. Ggpa's is there, but not ggma's. Not sure what the absence of ggma's last name means. Are they incomplete?

        Neither the two names you mentioned are there either, but if you have other names, you can give it a try.

        Switzerland church book extracts Heft

        Live your life. Take chances. Be crazy. Don't wait. Because right now is the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you'll be ever again.-- some wise person on the Internets.

        by raina on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:46:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  never mind (4+ / 0-)

          answered my own question. LOL.

          Record Description
          This is a collection of images of church records extracts for several Swiss cantons, however, it is not comprehensive. The title page of each book lists the surnames with town(s) and canton(s) from where the records were extracted.

          Swiss church records are typically written in German or Latin. Regional dialect may affect the spelling of some German words and the use of vocabulary words.

          The extracts of these church books cover a majority of the population of Pratteln for the years 1550-1875.

          This collection of data, which was extracted from church books in Pratteln, Germany, covers the years 1550-1875

          The church records were created to record church sacraments associated with the life events of the parishioners, such as baptisms, marriages and deaths. This collection of extracted data was created to make the research of Pratteln ancestors easier.

          Church books are one of the most reliable and accurate family history sources. However, accuracy in the records is dependent upon the accuracy of the informant’s knowledge and the accuracy of the priest’s recording of the information. The extraction of data from these records may also introduce some mistakes; therefore, it is recommended that you verify the information in the originals and other vital records, if available.

          Live your life. Take chances. Be crazy. Don't wait. Because right now is the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you'll be ever again.-- some wise person on the Internets.

          by raina on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:49:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Browing the images at familysearch (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim H, raina, brook, Land of Enchantment

          omg, what a nightmare.

          Is it just me, or do other people have problems with images loading?  I am usually able to load 4 of 5, then after that, the images won't load again unless I get completely out and wait for a while before trying again.


  •  okay heres my Wall Buster issue that (7+ / 0-)

    I hope to tackle and make some progress with eventually... its a bit of a booga-boo. Im glad actually that my WW II veteran father never heard this but... it looks like his father somehow managed to get a dishonorable d/c from the US Army way back in 1903-04. In fact, if my sleuthing is accurate - and Im not 100% sure that it is - he was even in the brig for ? a couple of YEARS? Im not sure. Anyway, I have no idea WHY. The Register of Enlistments document with the disposition notes is hard for me to decipher. And who knows what the codes they were using in 1904 meant? It says:

    Des July 18 1903. XXX(cant read it) Nov 25 03. dishon dischd January 24 04 at Ft Thomas Ky per S.O. 9 Dept Lakes 04 Pvt
    So... Ive found a little more in the Returns docs, and it looks like he got released in 1905, maybe 1906. (So its not like he murdered somebody or something!) He spent most of that time in Columbus Ohio Barracks. Incredibly irony there as that is the same location (Ft Hayes after 1922) where my father enlisted in 1942.
    (btw, GFA died in 1939.)

    Anyway, if anyone knows military history better than me (I set a very low bar!) or how to search for what that code might mean or just what the hell happened!!! you could kosmail me!

    In my Dad's recollection notes, he says (he wrote this down @ 1991) that he always heard it that his father had "joined the US Army, hated Mexico, came back, saved his money and bought his way out."

    This man also claimed that he was the personal Barber to Teddy Roosevelt for a time, and the only one to ever have a personal invitation to the White House. Or some such. My Grandfather was apparently full of all kinds of, uhm, stuff. Heh. He was a Barber though, his entire adult life. That much is true. I think. (His life prior to meeting my grandmother at age 45 is all a big mystery.)

    Thanks in advance! ...

    Get out there and get peace, think peace, live peace, and breathe peace, and you'll get it as soon as you like.” ~ John Lennon

    by Lady Libertine on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 10:41:32 AM PST

  •  plans / intentions for 2013 (6+ / 0-)

    beyond the obvious, i.e. more work to break through my brick walls, and get this stuff better organized, is... work on my Binders. Im working on writing up some of the narrative history with the idea to share it with various cousins. Its really confusing on my paternal grandfather's side, so this will take me some time. It is fascinating though!!

    Get out there and get peace, think peace, live peace, and breathe peace, and you'll get it as soon as you like.” ~ John Lennon

    by Lady Libertine on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 10:58:46 AM PST

  •  just clicked through that ^ Favorite Links links (6+ / 0-)

    up there. Thanks raina, lots of great stuff in there!!

    Get out there and get peace, think peace, live peace, and breathe peace, and you'll get it as soon as you like.” ~ John Lennon

    by Lady Libertine on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 11:44:53 AM PST

  •  So excited. I'm getting all the photos (7+ / 0-)

    I took of the book at Newberry put in order and cropped, resized, enhanced, etc. Takes a good bit of time.

    I was especially excited, though, because I had gotten an email from a woman who had Googled "Wooten Harris" in an attempt to find information about her 3xGreat Grandpa, an apparent friend or family circle member of Wooten's.

    Anyway, Google led her to my diaries here and she tracked me down. Today, the first page I opened to in the Hurricane Church book had a little story noting the passing of the very man she was looking for, Lodawick Harrison, who when he died at age 94, said he could shoot a squirrel as good now as he could when a boy. It was a great little piece. I've sent it off to her and hope she will be as excited as I was. If she hasn't already seen it, I know she will be jumping for joy!

    Isn't genealogy and family history wonderful!!!  I have learned so much general history and even more today.

    Happy 2013, everybody!! I'm sure hoping today's find is an omen for my coming searches and for yours, too!

    Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it. --- Bob Dylan.

    by figbash on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:29:22 PM PST

    •  great way to start the year! (5+ / 0-)
    •  There's a Hurricane Road and and burying ground (4+ / 0-)

      part way up the hill her in NH.

      The road was renamed after the 1938 hurricane that did so much damage in New England. Even though the road is almost 100 miles inland, nearly all of the trees in the region were lost that September.

      The burying ground is a small, family cemetery now. Nobody seems to belong in my family tree, though. But it's a picture-perfect New England burying ground.

      When I read in your diary about the Hurricane Church I wondered how and why it got the name. It's not exactly located in a part of the country known for hurricanes. I know that hurricanes can still do a lot of damage even hundreds of miles inland. Been there, done that.

      Just curious. Sometimes the littlest things can lead you to a story.

      "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

      by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:03:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've often wondered the same thing (4+ / 0-)

        but haven't found any answers nor have I even formed a theory, something I'm quite fond of doing.

        I did read in the book yesterday that most of the first settlers who came there were from Warren Co KY. I don't think they have much experience with hurricanes there either but there are in Fayette Co. IL not one but two Hurricane Townships, North and South.

        Now, see what you've done.... set me off on another mystery. There has to be a reason.

        Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it. --- Bob Dylan.

        by figbash on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 08:04:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It dawned on me that language and words change (4+ / 0-)

          usage and definitions over time.

          I don't recall any use of the word, tornado in any of the town histories and genealogies I've read that were written prior to the early 20th century. I'm thinking that the term wasn't in common use in those days.

          I've read some of the early 17th century histories that describe tornadoes but call them "great cyclones" or "great winds". In contrast, a hurricane at sea was often called a cylone and was called a hurricane at landfall and inland.

          So maybe tornadoes were called hurricanes because of the common terminology of the cyclone or cyclonic winds. Makes sense to me.

          Fayette County, Illinois was established in 1821 according to the Wikithingy, so that's definitely in the timeframe where the older terms were in common use.

          It's not that Fayette County isn't located right smack in the middle of Tornado Alley, or anything :).

          You're not alone in the quest to solve those little mysteries.

          "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

          by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 05:53:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks, O Grumpy One. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jim H, GrumpyOldGeek, edwardssl

            I just came to your comment from Googling around looking for answers to this very question. I wondered if maybe there weren't many or several devastating hurricanes in the Gulf that struck New Orleans since this area of Illinois was so dependent upon the Mississippi.

            I came upon this site timeline of us hurricanes thru 1800s.  WARNING: It's run by a right wing group called PoetPatriot or somesuch so I didn't look around too much. Just at the timeline. There were quite a few in the last decades of the 1700s.

            I like your idea better, tho, of the possible change in language but as I toss it around in my feeble brain, I think maybe we are both missing it.  As I looked at a survey included in the church book there are several references to "Hurrican" River and "Hurrican" lands. Here's a link to my Flickr photo of the page. It's a good general historical read. There is also a mention "Nov grounds shook springs roiled." A minor earthquake, I reckon. This is very close to New Madrid fault line.

            My bottom line at the moment: Hurrican was the name given by the indigenous people who then lived on these lands.

            Thanks for the conversation, GOG. I really enjoy your follow-though and knowledge. Now to go prove my latest theory wrong....

            Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it. --- Bob Dylan.

            by figbash on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:56:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This was the BIG New Madrid earthquake (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jim H, edwardssl, figbash

              The survey started in 1809 and lasted for at least a couple of years. So they were there on Dec 16, 1811 when the big New Madrid earthquakes hit.

              Once again, history crashes right into current events in the form of federal disaster relief funds as documented in this USGS summary of the New Madrid quakes.

              The earthquake made previously rich prairie land unfit for farming because of deep fissures, land subsidence which converted good fields to swamps, and numerous sand blows which covered the ground with sand and mud. The heavy damage inflicted on the land by these earthquakes led Congress to pass in 1815 the first disaster relief act providing the landowners of ravaged ground with an equal amount of land in unaffected regions.
              The 37 morans who voted against the Sandy relief act are lying when they claim that Congress never provided disaster relief before Katrina. They're off by almost 200 years.

              Anyway, this event has little to do with how the river and the settlement got its name other than verifying that the name was known before 1809. And that spelling was optional in so many of those old documents.

              They were very concerned about the "savages", obviously. These people would have spoken a Miami-Illinois dialect of the broader Algonquian language families. This particular dialect is well-documented, but the etymology of the word tells me it's probably not from an Illini tribe dialect.

              The Google machine found this about the etymology of hurricane. Apparently, it's an English word shared with the same Spanish word which originated from an indigenous people in the Caribbean, not speaking an Algonquian language (I think). What a mess.

              The idea that it's a tornado synonym is is reach. The possibility that it's an Algonquian term is unlikely.

              Which brings us full circle. Why is this called Hurricane? It's the English word.

              One would think that the origin is written down somewhere. Maybe.

              It sure is fun to try to unravel the puzzle, isn't it? It's the historical context that our ancestors lived through that's addictive for me. And it's great fun. Did I mention that this is fun?

              "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

              by GrumpyOldGeek on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 03:14:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wow. Thanks. I'm glad you think this is fun (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Jim H, edwardssl

                because SO DO I.

                Fun, exciting and, at times, deeply frustrating. You get something in your head like this and it takes up residence like a non-paying boarder.

                After reading your comment late last night, it occurred to me that the name that was translated finally to Hurricane was probably the English translation of the French "ouragan" (there were French traders there and had been for some time). Ouragan was the French translation for the native's name for it.

                The river called "Ocar" would appear to be the way the surveyors wrote out "Okaw" an alternate of the Kaskaskia into which the Hurricane flowed. From wikipedia:

                "Cascasquia" is an alternative, supposedly more French, spelling of "Kaskaskia" that is sometimes encountered.[citation needed] It was named after a clan of the Illiniwek encountered by the early French Jesuits and other settlers. "Okaw River" was an alternative name for the Kaskaskia that persists in place names along the river, including Okawville, and in a major tributary, the West Okaw River.
                Or maybe they just liked the sound of Er-uh-cun" which was probably the way they pronounced it.

                Thanks for engaging with me. I know Illinois isn't your area of interest but you are so knowledgeable! I really appreciate it.  See you 'round the bend.

                Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it. --- Bob Dylan.

                by figbash on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:03:15 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  It's wonderful, even at this late hour, (4+ / 0-)

    to read this lovely diary, Jim. Great job! I love the pictures and also your ability to weave the historic into the fabric.

    I also love reading everyone's latest finds and frustrations...y'all are really quite special.

    Age and illness  have changed my grand plans. This year I will be happy just to assemble a narrative and a road map for the youngsters. My brother and I are the eldest surviving members of our 'tribe'. Most of our cousins are closer in age to our children than to us  and have none or just a faint recollection of our grandparents.

    Hopefully I can remedy that.

    •  Hi Brook. I'm here late too (but (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brook, Jim H, Land of Enchantment

      going to bed shortly).

      It's so important for you to do that for the future generations, and they will someday thank you for it.  I think of our research as immortalizing our family history and by extension, it's "players" so they won't be forgotten.

      Many won't appreciated now, but I've found that at some point in their lives, most people will begin to wonder  ... how did I get here, and who helped make me the person I am today.

      •  Hi my dear (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        edwardssl, Jim H, Land of Enchantment

        I do agree that eventually whatever I am able to leave will be useful to someone. If I have a regret it's not delving into our
        family much earlier.It's been my undoing especially with uncovering our Irish roots. I took them for granted living under the same roof with them.

        Sleep well. See you again soon.

        •  It's well worth doing (4+ / 0-)

          one of the most amazing finds for me last year was getting a copy of my Aunt's memoirs/family history that she wrote for her family before she died from breast cancer almost 30 years ago.

          She was the only girl in my Dad's family and the only one that inquired more about their grandparents. She wrote what little she found out about her father's mother from talking to her uncle in Canada. While they didn't have a picture, he told her that she looked a lot like her grandmother. So that gave her (and gives me) at least an idea of what she looked like. If she hadn't written that little tidbit down, I would never have known.

          You never know what little bit of information will prove to be a goldmine of information to someone else years later.

    •  thank you for checking in (3+ / 0-)

      one of the nice aspects of them being in this little niche of immigrants is that I don't have to have personal stories of them. I know what they went through because all of these immigrants went through the same thing.

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