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I need help with the surname "Wandke" (West Pomerania)

matryoshka 5 | 21  
31 Oct 2008 /  #1
My family had the surname Wandke and I am having trouble finding much on this surname. Here is what I have:

My g-g-g-grandfather Gustav Wandke was born 1857 in Choszczno, West Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland.

I know his father's name was Friendrich but don't know when he was born. I'm guessing 1821 or earlier, which is when his wife was born.

I think they were Catholic so maybe someone can tell me of a church in Choszczno that would have their records?

Or can someone tell me alternate spellings for the Wandke name, i.e. what would the name be in Polish?
Softsong 5 | 493  
1 Nov 2008 /  #2
Hmmm.....the name ending sounds like an ethnic German name. Especially with first names like Gustav and Freiderich. But it could be Kashubian, too. I am not an expert.

But in that area of Poland, there were a lot of Kashubian (West Slavic peoples) and pre-WWII, the western Kashubes became mixed with Germanic peoples and converted to Lutheranism. In the eastern areas of Pommerania, they kept their Slavic identify and Catholic religion.

Both were probaby equally a mixture of Slavic and Germanic, but those in the western areas were expelled as ethnic Germans, and those in the eastern areas are now still in Poland and their identity is Slavic.

I am half Polish and half ethnic German and found that while the Lutheran church has most of the ethnic German records, at times, the Catholic church maintained them, too if no Lutheran church was available.

You might go to a site called PolandBorderSurnames for more information, or to the Mormon genealogy pages. They will list the microfilms and churches that kept records in that area.

Good luck...PS....alternate spellings could be Wandtke or Wantke.
Polonius3 983 | 12,333  
2 Nov 2008 /  #3
German names ending in -ke originated as adapatations of Slavonic-Pomeranian and/or Polish words in -ka. Often the proof of that is that in German a name such as Lipke has no meaning whilst the original lipka meant little linden tree.

The same hiolds tru efor -au ending German place-names. Zittau is meaningless but Żytawa (from which it was derived) could be translated as Ryeville, Ryeshire, Ryeton, etc.

Even Pomerania reinforces that lingusitic process. German Pommern is a mere translation which has no innate meaning, but Pomorze (the Polish original) means the region "along the sea".

Getting back to Wandke, that name exists in Poland. Other versions include Wandka, Wądka, Wendka, Wędka et al.
Incidentally, a name's lingusitic origin is not the same as the nationality of its current bearers. There are many people in Poland named Szulc and Schultz who would be insulted if you called them German, although the name originally meant village mayor (Polish: sołtys). And there are numerous Kowalskis and Nowaks in German who do not feel Polish in the least.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,366  
8 Nov 2008 /  #4

If these are your people please let me know.

Gustav married Bertha

Children: Henry, Charley.
Wandke is a German name.
Polonius3 983 | 12,333  
9 Nov 2008 /  #5
Wandke may be a German name in that it is used by Germans but probably not etymologically.
OP matryoshka 5 | 21  
22 Nov 2008 /  #6
Getting back to Wandke, that name exists in Poland. Other versions include Wandka, Wądka, Wendka, Wędka et al.

Thank you! Your post was especially informative and really answered my questions.

Wroclaw, those are not "my" Wandkes. Sorry!
7 Feb 2009 /  #7
I`m also searching for my ancestors named Wandke. My Wandke’s lived, or as I recently found out, are living for at least 200 years in the Lodz Voivodeship, Poland. I assume that they originally migrated from Pomerania and I am almost sure that they came from Poznan (Poland) to their last station in the region of Belchatow (Poland). This has taken place in the 18th century or in the first 10 years of the 19th century I guess. But for this I have no evidence up to now. I do not think they have settled near Belchatow before the 18th century.

My earliest Wandke is Ferdinand who was born in 1814/5 and was married to Anna Karoline Schliefke/Sliwka. They had (maybe at least?) two sons, Friedrich and Johann Gottlieb/ Jan Bogumil. One part of the Wandke family migrated during World War II “back” to Germany, but I unfortunately have no contact with them.

Descendants of this two sons carry the names:
Anna, Apolonia, August, Eduard, Gustav, Ewa, Ferdinand, Friedrich, Johann (=Jan), Julius, Olga, Paulina, Rudolf...
@ all Wandke researchers:
Please contact me if you have any information to share concerning this surname. sDOTpacakATwebDOTde
You may also write in German or Polish.
For those of you who understand German. Here you can find a possible meaning for this surname (Wanke, Wandke, Wantke, Wandtke). The ending –ke is here shortly explained too.
It is said that Wandke with its all variations is a slavic short form of Iwan that again is Johann or Jan.
The author of this book was searching in Central Poland for information about Germans who have settled there since many decades, therefore one can assume the correctness of this meaning. But it might be not the only one. I do not know.
OP matryoshka 5 | 21  
15 Jul 2009 /  #8
Szymek, your email address is invalid! Please come back to this thread and leave a valid email; I believe we are related!!
24 Jul 2009 /  #9
Hi matryoshka,
my email adress should work. It's:
24 Jul 2009 /  #10
I wanted to add, that Szymek129 is me too. I didn't know that I've two login names! :)
Polonius3 983 | 12,333  
25 Jul 2009 /  #11
The Wańka connection is very interesing. I never thought of that. But that would mean be an inserted "d" or "t" in the case of the other spellings.
greg999 - | 3  
29 Oct 2009 /  #12
Wandke or ... probably is slavic or polish coz pomeranians are classify as lechites tribes with polish tribes like whole group(See wikipedia). Pomeranians spoke dialects of polish languages they used many the same words as poles did. You can say that you are polish german mixed but have slavic polish pomeranian surname the same name like pochanke or hanke...
TheOther 6 | 3,687  
29 Oct 2009 /  #13

Your grandfather Gustav Wandke was born 1857 in Arnswalde, Pommern, and NOT in Choszczno (the Polish name of the town used after WW2). If you google for Arnswalde and Wandke, you'll find plenty of hits.

If you check the LDS web site you'll find over 600 datasets for the name Wandke and its variations.

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