Friday, 27 April 2012


If you are reading this you are either born to, or married to a Schladetsch Descendant.  Please feel free to leave a comment, especially if you have further information to share!  This has been an ongoing project, that is still a work in progress.  But as the amount of information I have gathered is substantial, I have decided to upload it, 'as is' so to speak, and allow it to evolve online. 

As of today I have uploaded a substantial part of the research.  I probably have 3 more pages to create, and then a bunch of fiddly notes to sort out.  Then it will be case of trying to fill in any missing gaps, fill out interesting details, find historical photos and maps, and try to add in any missing 'branches'.

If you are related to the Schladetsch Tree and you can't find your 'branch' drop me an email, or leave a comment!

(All copyright remains with the author.)

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

History of the Schladetsch Surname

 Family Myth or Truth?  They came from Russia...

The family story was that two brothers came over the mountains from Russia and married in Schleswig-Holstein... how romantic is that!

Russian idea: this is still open but definately not confirmed.  An American obituary of a Schladetzki in 1800's ( sometime), says the origin of the family was "400 years in Germany, then from Russia as the name indicates".  This could have been an assumption on the reporter's part, or on the familys part.  

from Prussia? - early 1800's I have two brother's, with variations of surname, immigrated, living and listed in Danish census. But our records go back to early 1700's living in Schleswig.  This is an area I have yet to look at more closely, as there are a couple of families that I havn't connected yet.

Central Europe - covers Bohemia, Romania, Slovakia - these three countries spoke Czech and German, and the only language I can find a link for 'Sladit' is czech, croatian, and Slovakian... so the strongest link is to that area as origin of name at least.

All these countries suffered the 'reformation blues'  with Protestant uprisings, and Catholic reprimands,  and the 30 years war started in 1620 which decimated a large part of Germany.
However - Our ancestors remain within a small locality, 'Dithmarchen', within Schleswig-Holstein, for 300 years of births, deaths, and Marriages... so very strongly attached to this area.  The history of the Dithmarches show they are noted for their  fierce independance.   They also baptised their children into the Lutheran Church  - which may mean something, or not at all.

There are many possibilites -  maybe following the 30 years war, they immigrated there, given that there would have been a loss of population, and workers needed; maybe before/during/ or after due to religious persecution; maybe they got caught in the many, many battles or this war torn era?

The oldest recorded direct ancestor’s surname is Johan Sladetzki, a Danish soldier, and it continued as Sladetzki from 1675 to around 1807, when it changed from Sladetzki to Schladetsch with Paul Hinrich.

The 'zki' ending is not a strong Russian suffix, but has rather a Polish/ central Europe influence.  It just means 'of the'.

The Sweet Theory:
This my 'pet' idea.   Central Europe covers  a large area including Bohemia, Romania, Slovakia  and these three countries spoke Czech and German.  The only language I can find a meaning for 'Sladit' is in Czech, Croatian, and Slovakian.  Sladit means sugar or  sweet. So there is a  strong link to that area as an origin of the name.  In which case Sladit + zki would mean Sweet + of the, so maybe sugar beet farmers, or Honey keepers.

Slav People group Theory:

The Slavs arrived in the territory of present day Slovakia in the 5th and 6th centuries

Germans settled in the northern territory of the Kingdom of Hungary (territory of present day Slovakia) from the 12th to 15th centuries (see Ostsiedlung), mostly after the Mongol invasion of 1241. There were probably some isolated settlers in the area of Pressburg earlier. The Germans were usually attracted by kings seeking specialists in various trades, such as craftsmen and miners. They usually settled in older Slavic market and mining settlements.

But the Ottoman wars and frequent insurrections against the Habsburg Monarchy also inflicted a great deal of destruction, especially in rural areas.  The Turks withdrew from Hungary in the late 17th century.

 It is also then possible that following a return immigration to Germany, their surname is a deriviation or combination of Slav + deutsch + zki  = Sla + det + zki.  Meaning they came from Germany and Slovakia, or where German speaking Slovavians.

Variations of Surname:

These are some obvious and not so obvious possible surname deviations:

Schladot = ‘ot’ suffix is a Hebrew plural ending.

So this is really all guesswork at this stage, until someone can come up with a better, or more concrete answer.

Schladetsch Family Tree Blog

Author and Researcher – Me

Who am I? 

I have been asked – so what nationality is Schladetsch?  And I used to answer my father was from Germany.  Then, in hearing some of the family tales, it became my father was from Germany, but his ancestors came from Russia.  As I delved more and more into surnames, their meanings and origins, and the history of surnames, I was lead down some interesting paths, that we will get to shortly.

So, I am …. Linda Christien Schladetsch.  Yes, the spelling in Christien, is not normal.  I was always told that it was just the way it was spelt on the birth certificate.

With such an unusual last name, it has always been a bit of a pride thing too – being the only Schladetsch family in Australia would kind of do that for you.  But as the years have gone by I have always wondered – where are the other parts of the Schladetsch family? Do they also wonder about our family tree? What do others know?

Then, several years ago, I received a parcel in the mail with a bundle of genealogy certificates all neatly photocopied, with a note from my mum that this had been done in Germany, by a professional researcher and this was a copy for my records.  Now, as my mother, and her mother, had just spent the previous 30 years researching her family tree of Field’s and McCaskey’s, she was not particularly interested in undertaking any further research on my father’s side.  But the challenge as there for me – did I want to take it up?

Over the years I fiddled around with a little bit of internet research here or there.  But even up to 2002, there wasn’t a whole lot available online.  Then in 2006, I seem to have started a bit more search, as I have quiet a number of printouts of various census records, or immigration lists in my files, but even at that time I hadn’t been able to make a whole lot of connections with the data I had.  It isn’t until now in 2011, that I am finally able to make any headroads into making ‘sense’ of the names, dates and events that I have before me.

What has changed?  Well for one the internet.  It is an amazing resource for researchers now, and although time consuming in being lead down proverbial rabbit holes,  there is a wealth of information to be found.  Also back in 2006, I had just had a major attack of MS ( Multiple Sclerosis), which meant that I really didn’t have the physical ability to sit for long periods of time.  Then the year after that we started homeschooling, which took a lot of my focus for the next couple of years.  Then, with the pending ill health and subsequent passing away of my husbands grandfather, I took an interest in tracing the ancestory of my husbands family, being the Richardson’s. 

Now, finally, in 2011, I feel like if I don’t make the time, or invest some energy in writing this down, both the ancestory, and my efforts so far, may be lost!  There is so much information already that I have collected, and that is only after a few months  of concerted effort – what would be like after  a year!  So after recently reading some very good advice on writing your family research – was to start writing as soon as you start researching.  Which is what I am going to do.

As of now, early February 2011, we had 9 generations of Schladetsch, ending with the puzzle of Sladetzki in 1738, and as of today ( 19 May, 2011), there are 11 generations.

Questions. Where did the surname change?  Why? What are the origins of name?