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Re: [TexasCzechs] Böhm/Boehm

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  • pfoster
    Thank-you sir. This helps clarify the subject. Matter of fact I made a copy for my research files. paulasmaggie ... From: CWarschak@aol.com To:
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 31, 2007
      Thank-you sir.  This helps clarify the subject.  Matter of fact I made a copy for my research files.  paulasmaggie
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Monday, December 31, 2007 3:01 AM
      Subject: [TexasCzechs] Böhm/Boehm

          I have been following the discussions regarding the Böhm/Boehm family.
          I certainly do not claim to be an authority on the subject but I have been doing research on my German and Czech ancestors for many years and, in the process, I have learned quite a bit about the history of that part of Europe.     
          I have found that much of the confusion about where we think that our ancestors came from often stems from a misunderstanding as to whether we are talking about their ethnicity or about the Crown to which they were subjects of at any one particular time. 
          To the best of my knowledge, all of the former Czechoslovakia (the present day Czech Republic and Slovakia), as well as Silesia (most of which is now a part of Poland)  belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire prior to the end of World War I.  As such, there were Austrians, Bohemians (meaning they resided in the area known as Czechyland, or Bohemia), Moravians, Slovaks, Silesians, Poles, and Germans living within various parts of the current Czech Republic. Those who claimed to be Germans,  Austrians or  Silesians were most likely descendants of ethnic Germanic tribes while those who claimed to be Czechs, Bohemians, Moravians, Slovaks or Poles were most likely descended from Slavic tribes. Add to this the fact that many of the peoples of various ethnic backgrounds intermarried over the generations and often did not pay that much attention to where their ancestors originated from. The result is that you will find familes with clearly Germanic names who claim to be of Czech ancestry and vice the versa. (After all, if a German marries a Czech, their children are equally German and Czech but the family name that will be carried forward is most likely the name of the father, even if all marriages of future generations are to people of the other ethnic background.)
          I have also paid some attention to proper pronunciation of names. The two little dots that have been referred to are known as (the German) umlaut. Umlauts are often placed over vowel letters (a, e, i, o, and u).
          The proper pronunciation of umlauted letters are very difficult for those who did not grow up speaking the German language.  The best way that I can describe the pronounciation of names containing umlauts is that you have to shape your mouth as if you were saying the umlauted letter while actually pronouncing another vowel, usually the letter "e".  So. Böhm would be pronounced with the mouth shaped as if saying the letter "o" while actually saying the letter "e".  Many of the German sounding which contain double vowels were originally spelled with an umlaut over the first vowel and without the second vowel.
          Once again, I do not claim to be an authority on the subject but, perhaps, this will give some of us a little additional food for thought regarding our ancestry.
          Carroll Warschak

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