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> My grandfather's name was "Stemler". I was told > it was from the German for "stammerer", a reference > to how his ancestors were Huguenots driven out of > France to Germany, where they were called stammers > because of their broken speech. That's interesting about your Huguenot ancestors. - and with the name too. The word for "stammerer" is 'Stammler'; so that would fit. But how did they come to adopt as a family name what was in fact a derision? Curiously though everyone wanted to speak only French at that time - from the nobility downwards. German was considered too common. French was also the language of scholarship, next to Latin. There really was there was no standard German, save Luther's version. There wasn't even a Germany, as a state - not until 1871. And it wasn't only the French language they borrowed. It was also French fashion, habits, manners, and so on. That's why I am puzzled why your Huguenot ancestors had a hard time. But perhaps they were up in the north, Prussia, where French might have been less popular. > Some four centuries later and thousands of miles > distant, my family still bears the marks of that > persecution. You mean it's still in the collective family memory? Or did they have hard time in America as well? I always thought that the Huguenots were well received everywhere, mainly because they were well to do - middle and upper class - and fitted in well. But of course it's very hard leaving your country under such circumstances. And there is no real feeling of belonging in the new country - not for the first generation anyway. Many people need that feeling of belonging. Adapting yourself to a new culture is difficult too, especially if you long for your own - as the Huguenots must have done. Elga _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk