aus + name (of what?)

Leporello

Member
USA, English
I have a birth certificate for my grandfather, made in Bohemia in 1903. (He was born in 1891; it is possible that the birth certificate was obtained in anticipation of his emigration to the US, which occurred in 1906.) The document is in German, as Bohemia at the time was part of Hapsburg Austria. It is a printed form with specific information entered by hand. The one part of it that puzzles me is the occurrence of a certain phrase after the maiden name of my great-grandmother. I reproduce the pertinent text below with all the names but one blanked out. Italics indicate handwritten entries. The puzzling part is in bold type.

Geburts-Zeugnis

Von den Underzeichtneten wird hiemit bezeugt daß am Achzehnten [sic] des Monats April, im Jahre Ein Tausend Acht Hundert Einundneunzig 18ten April, 1891 dem Herrn A******* R*** Gastwirth in H**** von seiner Ehegattin T******* geborenen K*** aus Wilschowetz ein Sohn geboren und demselben der Name M******** beigelegt wurde.

I initially interpreted "geborenen K*** aus Wilschowetz" to mean that my great-grandmother, whose maiden surname (as I already knew) was K***, came from a place called Wilschowetz. But this interpretation runs into several obstacles. First, so far as I can find, there is not and never was a place of that name. The name appears to be transliterated from Cyrillic (no such combination of characters would occur in a Slavic language that uses the roman alphabet, such as Czech or Polish), but the only place-name that comes close is Vil'khovets' (Вільховець), which is in Ukraine (and has always been so; i.e., it was never an Austrian possession). This could conceivably be mangled into "Wilschowetz" by German speakers. But it is certain that my great-grandmother was not born in Ukraine and never lived there: both she and her parents were born in Hapsburg Austria, most likely in the very town in Bohemia in which this certificate was completed. So it is very unlikely that the phrase "aus Wilschowetz" is meant to indicate her place of origin.

I have an alternative hypothesis, which is that the phrase "aus Wilschowetz" is a matronymical, indicating that the mother of my great-grandmother had the maiden name of Wilschowetz. This would square with the fact that the phrase is added to my great-grandmother's maiden surname even though the form does not contain a blank specifically for place of origin (the word "aus" is not part of the form but is entered by hand along with the first surname). My question for the forum is : Is this possible? Does anyone know of the preposition "aus" being used to express maternal parentage rather than place of origin?
 
  • Kajjo

    Senior Member
    Is this possible? Does anyone know of the preposition "aus" being used to express maternal parentage rather than place of origin?
    Hm, it's a long time ago, so I am not sure. But I have never heard "aus"being used in this sense.

    I would have understood "aus" to refer to a location, mainly town of birth. Maybe back then there was a town like that.
     

    Leporello

    Member
    USA, English
    Hm, it's a long time ago, so I am not sure. But I have never heard "aus"being used in this sense.

    I would have understood "aus" to refer to a location, mainly town of birth. Maybe back then there was a town like that.
    Thank you for your comment. I cannot dismisss that possibility altogether, but it seems to me unlikely, for the reasons that I gave.
     

    Leporello

    Member
    USA, English
    This is a long shot, but have you already eliminated names like Wrschowetz, or even Wrschowitz? It seems like a stretch, but similar names show up in Bohemian history, and in the Czech Republic, in Czech form.

    Vršovice (rozcestník) – Wikipedie
    Thank you for the suggestion and the link. I had not investigated that sort of name. It is, as you say, a long shot, but not impossible.

    I did find someone with the user name "Vilsovec" (so spelled, in roman characters) in a Russian Web site. If you add a hacek to the "s," you get the Czech spelling of "Wilschowetz." That did not lead to any further connections, but it suggested to me the idea that "Wilschowetz" could be a surname.

    Until just now, I didn't even try this out: Velešovice - Wikipedia "Velešovice" seems to me an even likelier candidate.

    But I am not ready to abandon the hypothesis that "K*** aus Wilschowetz" here gives the mother's maiden name.
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    But I am not ready to abandon the hypothesis that "K*** aus Wilschowetz" here gives the mother's maiden name.
    From a contemporary point of view extremely unlikely. This needs to be a completely obsolete usage, if I never heard it before. "Aus" for a maiden name sounds really wrong from a contemporary point of view.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    https://epub.uni-regensburg.de/29160/1/13-12-12_Urbare_Troppau_ges_adobe_pdf.pdf

    Ich habe in der Quelle folgendes gefunden:

    Wersowitz / Werschowitz / Wersowitz / Werssowitz / Wirschawicz / Wirschowitz / Wirssowicz / Wir⌠owiz / Wo⌠titz „Vršovice o. Opava. Č. od 1476 Vršovice (Wrssowicze), 1536 Veršovice; n: 1377 Wirschawicz, 1608-1658 Wirssowicz, 1693 Wersowitz, 1708 Wilschowitz, 1716-1847 Wirschowitz, 1720-1945 Wrschowitz, 1736 Wierschowitz. L. 1288 de Virsovic, 1771 Wrschowitium, 1828 Wirzowitz”. (TUREK 2004, 909). Troppauer Urbare des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts TEIL II Transliteration 224 Werchowitz / Werschowitz / Werssowitz / Werßowitzer‒Wald als Flurname Hypothese nr 1: Dieser Flurname bezieht sich auf den zuvor beschriebenen Ortsnamen. Der Flurname beschreibt einen diesem Ort gehörendern Wald. Hypothese nr 2: Eine Ableitung zu ähnlicher Schreibung eines Ortes in Böhmen kann mit hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit ausgeschlossen werden. „Vrcow [...] c: Wirzau, Vrov [...]”. „Gerichtsbezirk Schweinitz, politischer Bezirk Budweis in Böhmen”. (STURM 1995, 40, 42/36). Wirſowiz / Wirschawicz / Wirschowitz / Wirssowicz / Vršovice o. Opava „Vršovice o. Opava. Č. od 1476 Vršovice (Wrssowicze), 1536 Veršovice; n: 1377 Wirschawicz, 1608-1658 Wirssowicz, 1693 Wersowitz, 1708 Wilschowitz, 1716-1847 Wirschowitz, 1720-1945 Wrschowitz, 1736 Wierschowitz. L. 1288 de Virsovic, 1771 Wrschowitium, 1828 Wirzowitz”. (TUREK 2004, 909). „Wirschowitz, Schlesien, Troppauer Kreis [...]”. (RAFFELSPERGER 6. Bd. 2 1854, 1054).
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    But I am not ready to abandon the hypothesis that "K*** aus Wilschowetz" here gives the mother's maiden name.
    Tja, die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt...! :rolleyes:
    You can happily drop that idea. If Wilschowetz were a royal bloodline or even just low-level nobility of some sorts, you'd read "K*** aus dem Haus(e) Wilschowetz".
    You can safely assume that Wilschowetz is either the birthplace of your great-grandmother or the place of residence of your great-great-grandparents at the time of your great-grandmother's birth, a place where they held a formal legal status (which in those days may have been land ownership or any sort of property ownership that granted them legal rights of citizenship) and which was automatically inherited by the new-born child.

    Don't forget that the first formal and standardized spelling of German came out only in 1902 -- and just like today that did not even include proper names! Wilschowetz is probably a transcription of a Czech place name and you will find countless different spellings for it. (and Hutschi's post just above seems to prove that!)
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hi, if it is a "Herkunftsname" it is just "Wilschowetzer". (My ofwn name is build this way.) Or it ist shortened to "Wilschowetz".

    The name "Wilschowitz" is used rather frequently, and it is such a name. But always without "aus".


    "Adelsnamen" were build like: xxx von Ort (Example: August von Sachsen) or with "von und zu" Adelsprädikat – Wikipedia
    A list is: von (abgekürzt v.); zu; von und zu; vom; zum; vom und zum; von der; von dem

    "Aus" is not included.

    ---

    Another thing:

    We often use informal phrases like "Euer Bernd aus Dresden" - This is not a name. It is just a description.

    PS:

    seiner Ehegattin T******* geborenen K*** aus Wilschowetz
    can be:

    seiner Ehegattin T******* geborenen K*** aus Wilschowetz - geboren in Wilschowetz - die aus Wilschowetz stammt
    or
    seiner Ehegattin T******* geborenen K*** aus Wilschowetz - die in Wilschowetz lebt


    "Aus" disproves the idea that it is the name of her.



    Only: a backdoor: There may be steps between. See Kajjo #6.
     
    Last edited:

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    ...

    But I am not ready to abandon the hypothesis that "K*** aus Wilschowetz" here gives the mother's maiden name.



    "K*** aus Wilschowetz"

    From my point of knowledge:

    K*** is indeed the maiden (sur)name (Mädchenname/Geburtsname of the woman)
    aus Wilschowetz is a description of the place Frau K*** was born or lived during the first years (until she maried).


    Other Example
    In my case it would be
    Hutschenreuther - literally: aus Hutschenreuth - my early ancients from some centuries ago (Vorfahren) are from Hutschenreuth, a small village in Bavaria, now part of Gefrees.

    My Father is from Steinach, and I was born there.
    So I am Bernd Hutschenreuther aus Steinach.
    Hutschenreuther is my family name = sure name
    Steinach is my Birth place.

    Bernd Hutschenreuther aus Haselbach - I lived there as Child for some times.
    Bernd Hutschenreuther aus Dresden - I lived there after my parents moved there.

    ---
    "Aus" clearly indicates the place and is not part of the name here.
     

    Leporello

    Member
    USA, English
    Thank you for all of your replies, especially Hutschi. The fact that one of the German spellings of "Vršovice" was "Wilschowitz" seems to me decisive, or as close to decisive as we are likely to get in this matter. "Wilschowetz" in the birth certificate must refer to a place now called "Vršovice"---of which, thanks to Minnesota Guy, I see that there are four at the present time, all of which would have been within the borders of Austria in 1903. "Wilschowetz" could have referred to any of these. Perhaps one day I shall find further documentation of my great-grandmother's origin.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    "Wilschowetz" could have referred to any of these.
    Yes, but it shouldn't be too hard to assign probabilities to these historic places, which in the end only leaves 1 or 2 likely candidates.
    Out of these 6 entires in Wiki you can assign <5% probability to all places in Moravia. How would a Bohemian clerk know of a "Wilschowetz" that is hundreds of miles away in a different country? Without GPS and no Google...!
    If the certificate was issued in Prague, the clerk would certainly have entered "K*** aus Wilschowetz, Mähren".

    Vršovice near Prague is the only place that an average clerk would list without feeling the need to add additional information.
    As this link shows, that place was a town with 14,000 people in 1900 and that's a lot for that time. It was merged with Prague only in 1922.
    I'd say every clerk in every country would usually know the 5-10 biggest towns in their own country and Vršovice near Prague certainly meets that criteria. The average Austrian clerk wouldn't bother entering additional info like district or region for well-known places within their realm of influence. (PS: Austrian administration and bureaucracy hasn't really changed much in the last 500 years...! :rolleyes: )

    So, all you need to do is take the names and dates of birth of your ancestors, go the respectiv parish in Czechia and get access to the church records and you'll have all the proof you need. :)
    Unfortunately those church records are rarely digitized, so a trip to Bohemia is probably unavoidable. But it's worth it. They have some beautiful places there!
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hi, if you have the opportunity to go there and read the "Kirchenbücher" she is registered after her birth there. Maybe you can also contact and ask a Pfarrer/Pastor there.

    My wife made some research once. She came to the 17th century via Kirchenbücher (A kind of birth and death register made by churches.)
    With Tax registers she came even a century further back.

    edit: Crossposted with manfy.
     

    Leporello

    Member
    USA, English
    Vršovice near Prague is the only place that an average clerk would list without feeling the need to add additional information.
    Thank you for the information about sizes of towns. Yes, the one near Prague is clearly the only plausible candidate.
    So, all you need to do is take the names and dates of birth of your ancestors, go the respectiv parish in Czechia and get access to the church records and you'll have all the proof you need. :)
    Unfortunately those church records are rarely digitized, so a trip to Bohemia is probably unavoidable. But it's worth it. They have some beautiful places there!

    Hi, if you have the opportunity to go there and read the "Kirchenbücher" she is registered after her birth there. Maybe you can also contact and ask a Pfarrer/Pastor there.

    None of my forebears would be in any church records, as they were Jewish. When I quoted the birth certificate, I did not include this part:

    Welches auch in dem Geburts-Protokolle der Isr[aelitischen] Cultusgemeinde in R****** Lit. III Pag. 29 Nr. 142 eingetragen ist.

    I don't know if the records of the local Jewish community have been preserved anywhere. It seems unlikely that they would have survived the Nazi period.

    Can anyone tell me, by the way, what "Lit." may be short for? Like the two Latin words that follow it on the form, it is printed in roman characters (the rest of the printed form is in Fraktur). Of course it suggests "littera," which means "letter," but I don't know what kind of division of a record that would signify.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Can anyone tell me, by the way, what "Lit." may be short for? Like the two Latin words that follow it on the form, it is printed in roman characters (the rest of the printed form is in Fraktur). Of course it suggests "littera," which means "letter," but I don't know what kind of division of a record that would signify.
    Google suggests that Lit. may also stand for Literatur, which in this case refers to Book III of their birth register in R*****. But to get exact details it's best to contact the Jewish Kultusgemeinde nearest to the place of interest. They will certainly know their own citation references - even historic ones.
    If they don't have any details on birth records, the next best place is the Jewish Kultusgemeinde in Vienna; they will definitely be able to point you in the right direction.

    Since your birth certificate is a preprinted form, it is safe to assume that it actually comes from an administrative governmental office in that town and those records may very well have survived the Nazis. Same process: first I'd check with official Czech archives, then historical archives in Vienna. It was the capital of the monarchy at that time and they still keep huge record archives.
     

    Leporello

    Member
    USA, English
    For anyone who may still be interested in my historical puzzle (though the grammatical question with which I started this thread has already been conclusively answered), I have discovered a reference in a letter by a family member to a place called "Vlčoves." After much research, I eventually learned that this is a now-outmoded name of a town now called "Vlčeves." It is just a few miles away from my grandfather's birthplace. Mystery solved.
     
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