Thursday, September 8, 2016

What's That Surname?

Here's a fun one - before you scroll down too far, try to figure out the surname of Cornelius below:
Cornelius [guess who!] death record, 20 March 1810, Tiegenhagen Mennonite Church Book 1780-1831, West Prussia, p. 95.  Downloaded from on 28 November 2015 [link has been removed].

Someone did an incredibly useful rough draft transcription of the Tiegenhagen, West Prussia, Mennonite church book, 1782-1831, and he took it to be "Cornelius Fast."  I definitely thought the same thing for a long time.  In that case, there were two Cornelius Fasts in the village of Platenhof - one died in 1793 and this one in 1810.  I spent a lot of time trying to separate the children of the two men into different families without any luck.

But today I took another look at the surname.  Here's a scan of a larger area:
Notice that the second loop on what appeared to the "F" in Fast is actually the down-loop on the "z" in Schulz.  If you mentally block out that second loop, could the name actually be Jost?

Let's look at some of the J's the scribe wrote on the same page:
Here are three times where he wrote Jacob, Johan, and Jacob.  These J's look very much like the first letter in the surname above.  It has to Cornelius Jost.

So I can stop trying to separate the Cornelius Fast children in Platenhof, West Prussia into two families - there was only one Cornelius Fast in Platenhof!

1 comment:

  1. My father in laws family has been researched back to Prangenau, Gross Weider, Prussia to a Peter Regehr that died there in 1811. He was born in 1740 but we don't know where. They are German speaking Mennonites and we are trying to find out where they came from before Prussia. Do you have any suggestions on where I can look to find this information?