The surname, parentage, and links back to his homeland of my great-great grandfather Elias “Eli” Nutick have been quite evasive. His line has been a royal headache and a never-ending brick wall for decades! Now, his wife, my great-great grandmother Margaret (Margarthe) Weiss’ line has been a dream to research. I have many DNA matches related to her Weiss/Fried/Propheter and other ancestors, all found in and around Klingenmünster, Germany. You can learn more about her family here: My Weiss, Fried, Propheter, and Related Ancestors from Klingenmünster, Germany
I have thought I found Nutick related kin via DNA a few times, only to discover if I went back far enough, the links were actually to his wife’s ancestors and not to him. I thought I really had it figured out when I had a few distant DNA matches that had the surnames Emig/Emich in their tree that went back to Germany, and those surnames were a good possible fit for Nutick, but alas, my connections to them are not on this line after all.
A little background on what is known about Eli Nutick. According to the two census records he appears in; he was either born about 1842 (according to the 1870 US Federal Census) or was born about 1816 (according to the 1880 Census). He dies in 1887, leaving his wife a widow with several young children. I tend to lean toward him being older and thus why he died thirty-two years before his wife. In the 1870 Census he states he was born in Bavaria. His wife also states she was born in Bavaria. This actually was of no help in researching their families because what was the Kingdom of Bavaria and what is now Bavaria are not one in the same and where she was born in Klingenmünster was sometimes listed as part of Bavaria, it is actually in the Rhineland-Palatinate. In the 1880 Census he lists himself (and his parents) as born in Prussia, as does his wife. Once again, this is not of much help, for the Kingdom of Prussia and what has been considered part of Prussia has changed over time in history, depending on the time period we are discussing. Later, his wife, as a widow, just lists her place of birth (and that of her parents) as Germany.
In the two census records where he appears as well as various other records, his surname is spelled as Ottic/Otte/Udig/Utic/Udie. But today I discovered his marriage record. I only found it by removing his surname from the parameters and only listing his first name and the name of his bride, Margaret Weiss. And guess what? His name is quite clearly listed as Elias Wegt!!!!!! This explains so much.
The story that was told to me by an older Nutick family member in the 1980’s was that when Eli’s children went to grade school, the non-German speaking teacher in Ohio told them their name was Nutick from then on, because that is what she heard when they said their last name! Prior to the 1900 Census the name is listed as Ottic/Otte/Udig/Utic/Udie, and various other ways! I have no idea how Wegt (Weigt) sounded like Ottic/Otte/Udig/Utic/Udie, etc… to the census takers or why the teacher heard the name as Nutick. But once I understood his name was originally Wegt, I found DNA matches to a Wegt/Weigt family from Rawitsch, Posen – which was at the time part of the Kingdom of Prussia but is now in Poland.
At this time, my ancestor Elias “Eli” Wegt Nutick appears to be the son of Samuel Weigt (the son of Johann Gottfried Weigt) and Marie Elisabeth Kubal/Kubala (the daughter of Johannes Wojciech Kubal). And he had at least one brother named Christoph Christian Weigt (Weicht). His brother migrated from Poland to Volhynia which is in Ukraine (in what was part of Russia at the time) before at least one of his sons immigrated to America. The DNA matches are still not as abundant in comparison to his wife’s family lines, but the DNA links are not as opaque as they were prior to discovering his marriage record.
The marriage record of his parents is thought to be found in Piaski, Gostyń County, Poland which is 26 miles from Rawitsch. There are still volunteers entering the marriage records from Posen into a database for genealogists to use. Not all of the records from the Posen area have been entered yet.
Regarding his brother’s migrating to Volhynia, this article discusses The Germans from Volhynia and Russian Poland. Many went to Alberta, Canada.
So, are we Polish?!!! Well, yes, and kind of! Where our ancestors came from is now part of Poland. And the surname Kubal, although not a super common surname, is found most often in Poland. Johannes Wojceich Kubel had a Polish name. Wojceich is very much a Polish given name. It is the equivalent to the Czech name Vojtěch, Slovak Vojtech, and German Woitke. The name is formed from two components in archaic Polish: wój (Slavic: voj), a root pertaining to war. It also forms words like wojownik (“warrior”) and wojna (“war”). (1) So, it would appear that at least one of our ancestors, the Kubal/Kubala line, does have Polish origins.
Fun little side note here: when I was about 13 years old, I had several people ask me if I was Polish! Why several people thought I had Polish ancestry is still a mystery. But I suppose I could look at least partly of Polish ancestry.
I only know how to say a few sentences in Polish, but I will have to learn a bit more on Duolingo! And I absolutely love the Polish saying “Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy”, which translates literally to “Not my circus, not my monkey.”
🇵🇱 Cieszę się, że mam polskiego przodka! 💖
The surname Kubel has a few origins, it could be from the German surname Kuebel that is generally thought to come from the Middle High German word “kübel” meaning a “vat,” or “barrel.” As such it was an occupational name for a cooper, or barrel maker. (4) But since he has a Polish given name of Wojciech, and the family lived in what is now Poland, it could also be from the surname Kubal. Kubal name meaning: Polish, Czech, Slovak, and German: from a derivative of Kuba, a pet form of the personal name Jakub. (5) As a Polish surname Kubal, it would have been also listed as Kubalska/Kubalski. In Polish naming the ending is ‘ski’ when it’s a male and ‘ska’ when it’s a female.
Weigt is a German surname, although found to a lesser degree in Poland. Johann Gottfreid Weigt is thought to be the son of Johann George Weigt and Rosina Elisabeth Krisch. Weigt is a German surname thought to be a reduced form of name Weigand. Weigand means “son of Wigant.” Wigant is a personal name derived from the Old High German word “wigant,” meaning “warrior.” (3) Krisch is a name most often associated with Austria. It is a German, English and French surname originally derived from the Old French given name Christian and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form Christianus meaning ‘follower of Christ’. (2)
Is this my last word on our Nutick line? Probably not! But it does seem to be forming into a much more coherent supposition as to the roots of my great-great grandfather Elias “Eli” Wegt Nutick.
- Wojciech Name Meaning
- Krisch Surname Meaning
- Weigand Surname History
- Meaning of German Surname Kuebel
- Kubal Family History – Kubal Name Meaning
Just for fun:
Polish for Indo-Europeans Beginners Course
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I was intrigued to read this post about Elias “Eli” Nutick as it reminded me of the different spellings for my English family heritage over the years. My maiden name was Allery and this has been spelled as Ellery, Allary or Allay in some old registers. You have given me an idea for my next ancestral post. PS Loved the Polish quote!
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