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  • Writer's picturePatrick

Different spelling of Glarus surnames and given names

Updated: Feb 13

1. The replacement of the "c" and “ch“ by the "k"

At the Orthographic Conference of 1901 in Berlin, a common German orthography of all German-speaking states (German Reich, Austria, Switzerland) was established for the first time. Among other things, the resolutions of interest here were passed:

a) The "h" after "t" should be dropped in principle: Tal instead of Thal, so for example Linththal became Linthal again

b) Foreign words should be integrated more consistently into the German writing system. This led in particular to an extensive replacement of the "c" by the "k", so Carl became Karl, Conrad became Konrad, Clauser became Klauser etc. However, the Jakobers are still written with both variants, but the Cham replaced the "CH" with the "K" and made the single "m" into a double one.

c) At the same time the community of Nidfurn definitely returned to the "d" and thus put a definite end to the still young use of the "t". This correction is also due to the decisions of the conference of 1901 in Berlin.

2. The use of the "y" instead of the "i"

Examples: Zwicky > Zwicki; Trümpy > Trümpi; Tschudy > Tschudi; Jenny > Jenni.

In the 18th and 19th century the French language influenced the linguistic intercourse at the European courts and also in the Swiss patrician families. This period also saw the introduction of the "distinguished Y". Thus, it can be seen that during this time the noble Glarus families Aebli, Tschudi, Zwicki, Jenni and Trümpi also used their names with the more distinguished French “y“ ending. While the majority of the Aebli and Tschudi families returned to the old ending at the beginning of the 20th century, the Jenny and Trümpy families today mainly use the "y" and the Zwicki use both spellings about equally.

3. The use of the "a" instead of the "ä"

Example: Schräfer > Schrepfer

Around the same time as the decisions of the Orthographic Conference of 1901 in Berlin were implemented, the Schräpfer family also changed their name to the spelling Schrepfer, which is almost exclusively used today.

4. The Changing Spelling of Surnames in English

The changes in spellings have quite different causes. Firstly, letters and sounds that are unpronounceable in English have been anglicized. Then, however, family names were often anglicized during or shortly after immigration to America, because they were misunderstood by the immigration officer and then recorded that way in the entry papers.

The classic changes are the replacement of the "i" with the "y" or the alteration of the German umlauts: "ä" to "ae", "ö" to "oe" or "ü" to "ue". But then there is also the omission of the second "n" in the German "...mann".

To date, I have noticed the following changes in spelling in English / Portuguese (Brazil):

Ackermann: Ackerman

Aebli: Aebly, Abley, Aebley

Altmann: Altman, Altheman

Bäbler: Babler, Baebler

Baumgartner: Boumgardner, Baumgardner

Beglinger: Belinger

Blesi: Blesie

Blum: Bloom

Blumer: Bloomer

Böiger: Buniger

Bräm: Braem

Disch: Dish

Dürst: Duerst, Durst

Feldmann: Feldman, Feltman

Figi: Figy, Figey

Fluri: Flury

Freitag: Friday

Giger: Geiger

Hämmerli: Hammerli, Hamerly, Hammerly, Haemmerli, Haemmerlie, Harmelin

Hauser: Houser, Huser

Hefti: Hefty, Heftye

Heiz: Heitz

Hösli: Hoesli, Hoesly, Hosly, Hasley, Haesley, Hesli, Husley

Iselin: Iseli, Isely, Isly

Jäger: Jaeger, Jager

Jakober: Jacober

Jenny: Jenni, Yenni, Yennie, Yenny, Jennings

Kaiser: Kaeser, Käser

Kamm: Cham

Kläsi: Klaesi, Klasi, Klassey, Klassy, Klasse, Klassi

Knobel: Knoble, Noble

König: Koenig, King

Kubli: Kubly, Kubley

Kundert: Kundered

Leu: Löw

Leuzinger: Leitzinger, Lightsinger

Luchsinger: Lucksinger, Luksinger

Lütschg: Luetschg, Lutschg

Marti: Marty, Martie

Maurer: Murer

Meier: Meyer

Menzi: Menzie

Müller: Mueller, Muller, Miller

Oertli: Oertly, Ortly

Pfändler: Pfaendler, Pfandler, Pfendler

Rhyner: Rhiner, Rheiner

Salmen: Solman

Schiesser: Schisser

Schindler: Shindler

Schmid: Schmidt, Smith

Schneeli: Schnewli

Schneider: Snider

Schräpfer: Schraepfer, Schrepfer

Schuler: Shuler, Schuller

Schwitter: Schwyter

Spälti, Spaelti, Spaelty, Spalti, Spalty

Stäger: Staeger, Steger

Stähli: Stehli, Staley

Stauffacher: Stofaker, Staffocker, Stauffer, Safam, Estafacor, Stafor, Stafocher

Steiger: Stiger

Steinmann: Steinman

Störi: Stoeri, Stoery, Story, Stori

Streiff: Streif, Strief

Stucki: Stucky

Stüssi: Stussy, Steussie, Steussy, Stuesse, Stuessi, Stuessy, Stussey

Trümpy: Trümpi, Trumpi, Trumpy, Trumpe, Trimpi, Trumpie

Tschudi: Tschudy, Shudi

Vögeli: Voegely, Voegeli, Fegely, Figley

Weber: Webber

Weiss: Wyss, White

Wild: Wilde, Wilt

Wüst: Wuest

Zay: Zäh, Zäch

Zimmermann: Zimmerman, Carpenter

Zopfi: Zopfy, Zopfie, Sophie

Zweifel: Zwifel

Zwicki: Zwicky, Zwickey

Zwingli: Swingley

If you know of any other variations of Glarus surnames, I would appreciate hearing from you.

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