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Replies: 14
Posted: 1242437250000
Classification: Query
No way to know. English is wildly variable in how various vowels and vowel combinations are pronounced. The "i" after the "z" could be pronounced "ih" or "ee" and somewhere in between. If more towards the latter, many immigrants tended to used phonetic spellings, i.e., spelling that corresponded to the sounds. The vowel combination "ie" can easily sound like "ee" as in "believe". The combination "ei" also can sound the same as in "receive". Likewise the letter "y" in English often is pronounced "ee" as in "fully".

So I could see the first part of the name ending up being spelled Ziel-, Zyl-, Zeil-, Zeel-, or just plain Zil-. My maternal grandfather's surname was Kuckailis, pronounced KOOTS-kai-lis (because the "c" has no birdie over it). In America, he changed it by dropping the ending and spelling the rest phonetically: KOOTS-kel. But wouldn't you know it, one of his children changed that to KOOT-sel, dropping second "k" sound altogether. So now I have relatives named both Kutskel and Kutsel. Can't explain how human beings deal with their names sometimes.

John Peters
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Debra Leigh Zielis 936619200000 
Klaus Mittmann 1061501269000 
lietuvagen 1198127821000 
camarti15 1170483817000 
debandblayne 1242178766000 
LithuanianGen... 1242221016000 
debandblayne 1242430185000 
LithuanianGen... 1242437250000 
wondermom5907 1266978781000 
wondermom5907 1266978925000 
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