Saturday, February 13, 2010

Surname Saturday: Domelle

Last Saturday I wrote about my mysterious surname KLEYLEIN. This week, I'll talk about my even more mysterious surname DOMELLE.

The surname DOMELLE (variants I've found are: DOMELE, DOMLE, TOMELE) first showed up in the US at the beginning of the 20th century. The surname also exists in Canada, apparently some family members went straight Canada, but I've been unable to connect the two families, although due to the rarity of the name, it's extremely likely they are related.

In the documentation I've found there is variation in what is listed as the "home" town by each person, but all that is listed is within the same small area of what is now modern Romania. In the early 20th century, in was within the borders of Hungary, which was then still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Some of the variation is due to the use of different languages. I've mentioned in previous posts (03-Jan-2010) the difficulty in researching this particular region because each town, each county went by 3 names, the German, Hungarian and now Romanian names. So a document from 1915 might list the Hungarian version of the town name, the ship manifest from 1908 might list the German version of the town name, and finally, when you try to find it on a modern map, you need to know the Romanian version of the town name.

The main family members who emigrated to the US (both DOMELLE and DOMELE) listed their birth places as either NagyOsz or Gattaja. In fact, the same person would switch back and forth on which town was listed.

Nagyősz is the old Hungarian name for the modern town of Tomnatic in Romania. Gattaja is the old German name for the modern town of Gătaia in Romania.

The DOMELLE immigrants to the US were 4 siblings and a cousin and his family:

William DOMELLE (b. NagyOsz, Hungary, arrived Port of New York, 04 October 1911)

Nicholas DOMELLE (b. NagyOsz, Hungary, arrived Port of New York, 26 June 1907)

Anna Magdalena DOMELLE (b. Gattaja, Hungary, arrival date not yet found)

Lena DOMELLE (b. Gattaja, Hungary, arrived Port of New York, 04 October 1911)

John DOMELE (b. NagyOsz, Hungary, arrived Port of New York, 30 March 1906)

wife Mary TUNNER DOMELE (b. Visesha, Hungary, arrived Port of New York, 30 March 1906)

son Anthony DOMELE (b. NagyOsz Hungary, arrived, arrived Port of Baltimore, 30 April 1910)

son Martin Anthony DOMELE (b. Visesha, Hungary, arrived Port of Baltimore, 30 April 1910)

Most ended up in Chicago, then moving down to Lake Village, Indiana to farm. Both sisters married here in the US and ended up in Michigan.

The etymology of the surname DOMELLE has stumped me for a while now. At first glance it looks French to me, but the family stated their ethnicity was German while they lived in Hungary. They spoke German and Hungarian. My family pronounces it "DOM-lee". Family lore also states that the move to Hungary (which appears to have happened in the late 1700s) was from the Alsace-Lorraine region, so we are back to French/German back and forth with that region.

As with the KLEYLEIN's, there aren't a lot of DOMELLE's out there. So if your last name is DOMELLE, it's highly likely we're related!

Here's my ahnentafel:

1. Leah KLEYLEIN - Me!

3. Deborah DOMELLE - my Mom!

6. William Adam DOMELLE - my Grandfather! He was born in Newton County, Indiana and grew up there on his father's farm. He moved to New York and met and married my grandmother, Ann Mix.

12. William DOMELLE, born 27 Oct 1882 in NagyOsz, Hungary; died 20 Aug 1943 in Jasper County, Indiana. He met and married Elizabeth OBENDORFER in Chicago, Illinois. They later moved south to Lake Village, Indiana to farm, along with his brother Nick and cousin John. I've bemoaned my lack of information on William's wife twice before (09-Jan-2010; 07-Sep-2009)

24. Adam DOMELLE, born Bet. 1850 - 1860 in Austria Hungary. He was married to Christine RIZER/REISER.

And that's it! Not too long of an ahnentafel for now. My dream of dreams of course is that Romania wins the lottery and puts all it's church records online for free, indexed in english. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

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