Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2007-02 > 1171216240

From: "John Ozment" <>
Subject: [DNA] Alsace: French or German?
Date: Sun, 11 Feb 2007 09:50:40 -0800

Hi Ken,

For what it's worth (or not) ...

Alsatian Catholic parish books were kept
in three languages, dating approximately --
1600s: German
1700s: Latin [until about 1789]
1800s: Frenc h

Thus, official French in Alsace was perhaps more a result
of the French Revolution than of the wars
of 1871, 1914, and 1938.

However, my mother's Alsatian contingent was
still speaking and writing Alsatian German in the 1830s.
They were from the area adjacent to the Haguenau
forest region.

I'm not sure I understand the politics of it, but there
is a family story of how Michael and Maria Batt, with
four-year-old son, Joseph, were exiled into Baden,
Germany, from Alsace, France, in 1792
during the French Reign of Terror.
I guess peasants and kings received similar treatment.

During their "stay," Michael was murdered by German
soldiers, but for what reason, I don't know. Maria
was robbed of her money and belongings. Subsequently,
they were permitted to return to France. How nice.

Were they too German for the egalitarian French or
too French for the Germans?

Perhaps similarly --
my sister recalls visiting a Strasbourg cafe in 1969 where they were
somewhat shunned. Were they too American or too (seemingly)
German? They were on brief furlough from Army and civilian
medical positions in German hospitals.

Anyhow --
little Joseph later made a name for himself when he had a vision.
An alleged apparition of what he perceived to be Mary
spurred him on during a shipwreck-in-progress,
while en route to New York. Cardinal (St.) John Newmann
vehemently did not like him when he founded a nonconforming
chapel to honor this event. Like Lourdes, it has votifs to healings,
but occurred long before (St.) Bernadette Soubirous.

Anyway --
much earlier, in 1665, another Batt of this line was murdered --
shot by French(?) soldiers in Alsace on Easter Sunday. This
was long after the 30 Years War of 1618-1648. So,
again, I'm not sure of the politics involved.

Was he too German for the French?

Lars Menk's name lexicon mentions Batt and its
variant, Bott, as being among Jewish surnames
in the general area of Baden, whether intrinsically
so or merely adopted into such lines by intermarriage.
Batt supposedly means happy or blessed, after
a pet form of the name for St. Beatus (of Ireland
and Switzerland).

If I could only get someone to yDNA test for it.
I've tried but have been turned down.
But, it might only be haplogroup I1a, such as in
Ken's Alsace-Lorraine [Elsass-Lothringen] dataset
that he mentioned.

The Alsatian parish registers seemed to have names
of all three stripes in my ancestral lines, such as
Grosjean and Petit, Diebold and Eckart, and
Wolffel, Voegel, and Kandel. It was more
homogeneous then than you would think.

Sorry to bore you. I just felt like chiming in.
It had been a while.
[Not long enough, eh?] :-)

Sorry for being more long-winded than usual.
I usually try to keep it quite brief.



Message: 1
Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2007 17:32:03 -0700
From: "Ken Nordtvedt" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Ukrainian inherits Mongol Empire
To: <>
Message-ID: <000801c74d74$0d8c1da0$>
Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";

Oh come on. Germanic tribes spilled into what is now Alsace and Lorraine
and those regions were speaking German for centuries, but of course what is
known as Germany as a nation-state is a relatively recent thing; the
Germanic territory was most of the time in the past chopped up into many
small entities.

Alsace-Lorraine would probably be German-speaking today if Germany had not
involved itself big time in two losing wars of the 20th century. And France
had its eyes on the Rhine as "natural", ordained by God before secular times
came to pass, boundary for a long time.

My I1a haplotype collection even has several guys from Alsace-Lorraine with
German surnames.


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