Casefile Clues

04 July 2009

How Many Johns do you Have?

I was looking through some of my recent blog posts and I realized how many of them were about an ancestor named John. Then I thought about the names of my great-great-grandfathers:

  • John Michael Trautvetter (born in Thuringen Germany)--no I was not named for him, but he indirectly is why my name is Michael John instead of John Michael, but it wasn't his fault.
  • Johann Hinrichs Frederichs Ufkes (who used John-born in Ostfriesland, Germany)
  • Jans Jurgens Janssen (who used John--born in Ostfriesland, Germany)
  • Jann Mimken Habben (who used John-born in Ostfriesland, Germany)

My third great-grandfathers:

  • John Neill (born in Ireland)
  • Johannes Gerhardes Grass (born in Ostfriesland, Germany)
  • Johann Goldenstein (born in Ostfriesland, Germany)
  • Jann Christophers Janssen (born in Ostfriesland, Germany)

That's about as far back as I feel like working right now. My grandfather was also John (John H. Ufkes). Of course, some of these used the English for mof John, some the low-German (Jans, Jan, etc.), some the High-German (Johann) and one the Latin (Johannes). It is nice to have all the bases covered.

Interestingly, I have no great-grandfathers who were named John (at least for a first name)--they were:

  • Charles Thomas Neill
  • George Adolph Trautvetter
  • Frederich Jansen Ufkes (middle name actually a patronym ofJan[ John])
  • Mimke Johnson (more often just John) Habben (middle name a patronym of John)

All said, no wonder it irritates me when someone uses my middle name as another word for a toilet.