January 24th, 2011

ongedoopt != doopsgezind

I've been poking at Tresoar, the Frys archive. This is for my father's father's ancestry. It's a pain, of course, because for all my whining about Dammes vs. Dammis in the national archives established after 1811, the spelling variability on names isn't even the real problem in the 18th century: it's the _name_ structure that is driving me nuts now (what's a patronymic? No, don't bother to answer. I know what one is _now_.). The spelling variability is sort of icing on the delicious goodness of electronic copies of baptismal, marriage and death records from the 1600s or so on.

Anyway. Records sometimes have other little notes on them, and they sometimes catch my eye. I google translated ongedoopt (unbaptized) and then saw in another record that the same guy was now listed as doopsgezind, which looked initially as perhaps a synonym, but no. Google translate says it means Mennonite.

These are not my Mennonite relatives. And yet, at least one of them was a Mennonite.

This is not, strictly speaking, a surprise. Friesland is not a large place, and the particular part of Friesland where my father's ancestors are from is a geographically limited area within Friesland. Some of those ancestors were born or married or died in Pingjum, the village that Menno Simons served as a priest in. Nevertheless, while I figured that some of my father's distant ancestors were probably closely connected to some of my mother's distant ancestors, it hadn't occurred to me there was a remote shot at actually _finding_ any of those connections. I haven't found one of those connections, but I have found a faith connection (a Mennonite on my dad's side). Perhaps I'll eventually find a biological connection as well.