My mother was Ruth Anabelle Scratch, born in Kingsville, Ontario in 1923. She left me two documents: a reprint of a Kingsville Reporter article of 1908, titled: United Empire Loyalists in Essex County, by Mr. P.B. Owens; and the contents (but not the cover or the title page) of a book titled: History of Scratch (Kratz) Family in America. The author signs the preface as
M.J.B. and refers in the preface to "the history of my maternal ancestry".
Unfortunately, I only have awful nth-generation photocopies of these two works, and I am struggling with a newly-acquired scanner to try and get them into electronic form. When (if) I succeed, I'll be glad to share them with you.
She also left me two hand-written scrolls that my grandfather (John W. Scratch) received from the town of Dudenhofen (not far from the Neanderthal valley, I've been led to believe) when he visited there in the middle 1950's. One traces the ancestors of Lenhard Kratz back several generations, and the other traces the offspring of Lehnard's brothers and sisters down to the 1950's. These were apparently drawn up by the town architect at the time (a lady of the Kratz persuasion) and given to my grandfather at a big dinner thrown to celebrate his visit.
Again, I'm trying to enter these in electronic form and would be glad to share them when I get the job done.
I'm interested in the origin of the name Kratz, besides the obvious meaning of scratch, which seems too ordinary to inspire flights of the imagination. I know that the meaning of the name of the village that the family came from, Dudenhofen, means 'Teuton Haven' as in the Teutonic knights. How that name came to be applied to that village, I don't know. Could the name Kratz refer to a wound or scar, instead of a mere scratch, and might it have been a badge of honour earned while slaughtering pagans, or could the original family founder have simply been a clumsy cobbler who couldn't keep from nicking his finger all the time?
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