“Sprechen sie Deutsch?”

Sometimes the census records reveal some really interesting information … here’s something I learned just a few weeks ago.

My ggrandparents were Jacob B. Schoenly & Maria Latshaw. The Latshaws are an old Mennonite family although by Maria’s time they had become Lutherans (I think). One of their sons, Marcus L. Schoenly was my ggrandfather and when he married he moved to Philadelphia and became a successful grocer.

One of the stories that has come down about Marcus is that he absolutely forbid “Duetsch” (German) to be spoken in his house. He said that his family would all speak English because we were an English speaking country, (little did he know).

Now I really found it interesting that although Marcus forbid German in the house … according to the 1870 USCensus his mother, Maria Latshaw was unable to speak English. More over, during the Summers, Marcus sent he three sons, Walter, Roy & Guy up to live with their grandparents. I wonder how they got along with Grandmom. Either they didn’t talk to Grandmom -or- they learned to speak Deutsch.

Marcus did okay with his business but I don’t think he was too successful forbidding the Deutsch.

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