One day at Elizabethtown High School, a lovely girl from Mississippi with long, red locks strolled into our class a month or two into the term. We were mesmerized by her Southern drawl and relaxed manner. Her name was Jeannine Loux, a last name which she stretched out into two syllables: Looow-ux. We all made up excuses to talk to her just to hear her strange but melodic speech. Obviously, when the roll was called her name stood out among the the German-Swiss names we were used to hearing.

That was the 1950s. Since then, the culture in Pennsylvania Dutch country has become more diverse. Like in Jacksonville, Florida, there are family names like Chen, Patel or Lychenko in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, phone book. Still, names in either phone directory, an ever-shrinking publication, can give clues to family origin.2Phonephoto Play The Name Game. Which group from Elizabethtown? Which from Jacksonville? You get extra points for saying the names aloud.

Group A

  1. Adams
  2. Anderson
  3. Bailey
  4. Jones
  5. McCall
  6. Higgenbotham
  7. Smith
  8. Taylor
  9. Thigpen
  10. Thistlethwaite

Group B

  1. Diffenderfer
  2. Herr
  3. Hollinger
  4. Kleinfelter
  5. Kauffman
  6. Oberholtzer
  7. Raffensburger
  8. Reifsnyder
  9. Shellenburger
  10. Zimmerman

Any strange-sounding names from your ancestry to share? From another family?