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Is the Kitch family Jewish?
Posted by: Beau Bowen Date: December 11, 2001 at 14:54:42
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My grandfather is Ernest 'Ernie' Huey KITCH, b. 4 February 1890, Montgomery Co, IL, d. September 1975 at Indianapolis, Marion Co, IN. He was the son of Hiram Axtel KITCH and Laura Alice STARK. He married 1st Mabell Lenora ORNER, 29 May 1920 at Montgomery Co, IN, 2nd Ethel WELLS, 6 October 1963 at Des Moines, Polk Co, IA?

Growing up my family used a number of words such as schnoz, drek, schmuck, schmiel, and many others, which as an adult I discovered were Yiddish. I was asking my mother specifically about these words today and where they came from and she told me that her husband William Huey 'Bill' Kitch and his father Ernie used them all the time. She doesn't know why or where they came from though.

I'm not very familiar with Germanic cultures, was it normal for English speaking German Americans to pepper their speech with Yiddish words? I thought only people who grew up in Yiddish speaking Jewish families used the language. Given how powerful anti-Semiticism was during the 1800s and first half of the 1900s I would be surprised to find people using Yiddish unless it was part of their culture. As a child, I didn't even know it was Yiddish, they were just words we used and took forgranted. There was no instruction regarding my father's culture of origin; my mother's culture (mixed Scotch-Irish, Native American) predominated at home. My father was an only child, so I was never in contact with any other relatives on his side except his father (his mother died before I was born), and I briefly met his very elderly aunts when I was a small child.

I always thought that the Kitches were Lutherans. I am now baffled about why Yiddish was a part of my family's vocabulary.



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