Sunday, April 4, 2021

A Little Bit If Genealogy And Some Fishing

I haven't been going anywhere recently, unless you consider Lowe's as going somewhere. 

Our next trip, now that we have the "no more leaking' trailer back, is the end of this month. I believe there will be fishing involved and camping too. 

We're not going far. Rancho Seco Lake just to get out of the house.  

I've been spending some spare time on YouTube looking at things like historical pictures, Daily Humor (God knows we need some), a site called Stern Du Tube, and a few others. 

One site I came across was eye opening for this genealogist. It's called Ancestral Findings. It's more a podcast than a YouTube channel. 

For the years I've been searching for my families beginnings, and I think I've mentioned this in the past, is that I can't find anything about our family prior to the year 1300. I've traced the family back via a quite well known genealogist so I'm sure the data is correct. 

So I come across this podcast titled "German Surnames" and their origin. Before I go on, if you're into genealogy, there are podcasts for other surnames too. I also came across one titled "Polish Surnames". Two things stand out in my memory. One my Aunt Hilda would never admit she came from Prussia (Poland) and as a kid, I had no problems telling Polak jokes. Little did I know that I would chase my heritage back to Poland. 

In those two podcasts, it was explained that prior to 1100, 1200, or 1300 surnames didn't exist because people lived in one village all their lives and everybody knew everybody by their first and only name. Then people began migrating to the next village or another village and needed some way to distinguish themselves. Most did this by adding a "occupation" to their name and this surnames began. 

Johann was a miller so Johann became Johann Mueller (German version of Miller). Mueller is the most common surname in Germany and used by about 700,000 people. The second most popular surname is Schmidt the equivalent of Smith in English. Gold smith, silver smith, blacksmith, etc. 

There are about 850,000 surnames in today's Germany. 

Which brings me back to the beginning of the Kautz Family around 1300. From there I know that these two original family members had 3 children. One, the name is unknown, born about 1325. the second is Albert Kautz born about 1328, and the third was Conrad Kautz born about 1330. By the way, Albert's occupation was listed a warrior. 

So now I know why, and you can too, your family surname starts around the year 1100, 1200, or 1300. 

Just to end up this post with a little fishing info. There has been some mighty big fish caught in the last 6 months at a couple local lakes. Lake Camanche recorded a 16.62 pound Cutbow earlier this year. Lake Amador recorded a 20.12 pound Cutbow in November last year and a Rainbow at 19.30 pounds also in November. But as we inch toward opening of trout season (last Saturday in April) the downcountry fishing will give way to those streams upcountry and their native trout. 

Going to be a dry year. Snow pack (that fills our reservoirs during the Summer) is only about 49% of average. I don't suspect we'll see any more snow this year. 

Stay tuned.  


  1. Mark you have quite a background. Polish runs in my veins to and I'm glad it does.
    Those are some impressive fish taken over in those lakes. Your turn soon.

  2. Mark
    I've gone back to the early 1500's for the Trussells, which is English origin. Impressed you're trace the Kautz family name back beyond 1400.
    Looking forward to a fishing report as soon as the season opens for you guys out there. Thanks for sharing

  3. We have more in common than fishing. My aunt found out when going to Germany to do genealogy work, that her husband's side of the family (me included) was not German, but from Prussia. She had the last laugh on him because he couldn't make fun of her being a Polack anymore! Especially a dumb one. Haha.