Some on Pink-warts, bees and old documents...

In Christmas, having a little more free time as usual, we started to discuss with Sergiusz and Wolfgang on the genealogy and ethymology of our names. The starting point was Aunt Ruth's Map - the map of Lower Silesia, with two locations very interesting for us - the first, ALTEICHEN (now Czerna) was "clan nest" of Wolfgang's family. Not so far, to the South from Glogau (now Głogw) there is a location PINQUART (Bienkow now, with diacritics over "n" and "o"). Nobody from our family knows something about it and about connections with Pinkwart (or Pinquart, because such branche of our clan exists in Germany too) family.

Below extracts from Wolfgang and Maciek letters (26-29.12.2002)

Dear Maciek,

I had phone with aunt Ruth for the edition year of the map; she must ask her son Frank, but she means 1908 could be right. This small village (exact: a smal concentration of some agricultural esates) had the name "Czerna" since beginning. After 1875 Germans had given the new name "Alteichen"; for a long time the village was called (by Germans) as "Tschirnau" or "Tschernau"; in the Hitler "Empire" (Aunt Ruth told me), it was well known as "Die Fritsch'en Hfe" (= estates), because the owner of these estates was a General with the name "Fritsch"; he should have dealed with the Russian successful, that the village (and a beautifull castle) were not destroied. Ruth has an old engraving (a gift of her son), which shows this castle; she will send me the description of it.
Back to the name "Alteichen"; this name can not be common longer as between 1875 and 1918 (?); it will be difficult to find on other maps. In our Institute we have no old maps, because they all are burned 16th of march 1945.
The new name of the village "Pinquart" (some estates likewise in Czerna) is interesting. What means "Bien" in Polish? Or is it a takeover of an old German word? "Bien(e)" means in German a bee, and if this declaration could be right, we would have a direct connection to the old content of "Pinqwart" (I sent you the researches of my old professor ...)
The history of your grandfather and the line of Pinkwarts in Cologne is very interesting. Perhaps I can help you and ask in Frankfurt/Oder, if you give me some details of prenames and times; sometimes we can find such sources in archives of the churches. In the archiv of the town - I think - all was destroyed in the last war.
So long, til next time. Wolfgang
Dear Wolfgang, interesting information of Alteichen - I'm very interesting in informations about Pinquart etymology - I have no ideas. Polish name Bienkow means for me nothing - in every case has no connections with bees, honey or other sweet things... I also see no relations with name Pinquart - so if you can explain us this - send us the informations.
As to Pinkwarts from Frankfurt: my grandfather was Karl Rudolf P. born 1862 in F./O, died 1930 in Warsaw.
Dieter's ancestors:
Wilhelm Heinrich Pinkwart, 3.8.00, Berlin
Heinrich Pinkwart, 25.10.1873, Tzschetschnow, Kreis Frankfurt Oder
Wilhelm Pinkwart, 14.10.?, Tzschetschnow, Kreis Frankfurt Oder -

Dear Maciek,

Thanks for the details of the forefathers. Do you know - I think so - which religion (denomination) your forefather have had? I'll try to connect the "correct" church in Frankfurt/Oder. Perhaps we will learn indeed that we have common ancestors, because Ruth told me, that her grandfather (and my great grandfather) had a lot of brothers. They all are gone from Czerna-Alteichen to Germany in the first half of 19th century. My great grandfather was engeneer at the new railway (he they say was a cruel, unpleasant type ...). But only the history of one brother is known; he was employed at a railwaystation anywhere in Saxonia. All the other brothers are unknown; perhaps one of them goes in your direction of family-history. It would be really great, if we could detect this result.
I think the etymology of "Pinkwart" or "Pinqwart" I had sent you a long time ago. My old professor had a big experience in this objects - he was a historical geographer and worked about historic landscapes in Europe. He had found that our name in all probablity has its origin. In early Middle Age existed so called "bee-forests". In parts of woods the treetops were cut and hollowed out. Such places are predestined as beehives. Such - for the middle age very importend - places of the woods were named "pin", "ping" or even "pink", especially in the contact area between German and Slavonic peoples (!); men, who had fostered and guarded these very worthwhile areas in the forests, were called "pinwart", sometimes "pinkwart" and later "pinquart". Mr Jaeger, my old chief (he is 80 this year) has shown me middleage archives, where this name as important profession is refered! Now all is clear: we are "guards of bees" - not writers, journalists, altists or geographers ...   and pinkwarts were a high respectable profession (on the contrary to these other...). Wolfgang
Dear Wolfgang, I haven't got earlier such revelations because it is't possible I forgot it! But maybe I've got Alzheimer.... So Pink means a place in forest where were made artificial hollows in trees for beehives? Something like semi-natural apiary? It means that version Pink-wart is older then Pinquart - the last would be pseudo-romanisation, latinisation or something! VERY INTERESTING!!! And has Mr. Jaeger any old - the better of all - medieval - document mentioning it for scaning?
Other think about Tante Ruth infos: my grandfathr Karl Rudolf WAS railwayman (locksmith or something, working on railways...).
Maybe looking for archives in F/O is a task for Uwe - all my ancestors from the side odf Father was protestant, augsburg evangelics. I'm catholic because of my Mother - and in our family always was the ill-fated domination of women and exists till today...
Thanks so much, and I wait for another revelations... 

Maciek (Sergiusz is absent just now for skiing...)


Dear Maciek, unfortunately its not possible to get some (or one) medieval document from Mr. Jaeger to scan (I had ask him in this case long time before). He himself doesn' own such papers, he worked in his activ time in many German archives and he can't remember, where he had found this. He has finished his Geography totaly; at the moment he is writing his reminisces of war (he was fighting at the Russian front being 17!!).

The changing of notation of our name is interesting indeed. Earlier I believed that the different notation could be explained by the different notation of "qu" or "kw" in the Polisch and German language; but this cannot be right, if the seperation of part of the name in pink- and -wart is correct.
Last point I'll try to find the adresse of the right church in Frankfurt. I think Uwe only seldom is in his old patria.
Best regards to all (with or without skiing!) It's true, that you have -30 ? We have at the moment the typical climat of Christmas with +12!!


Well, by now is more warm here - only -10 degrees. Its a pity about Mr Jaeger and no contact with old document by him, but I think that we'll try to find it somewhere else. If the etymology of two-parts of our name is correct - there is something another interesting matter. Your very impressive description about the forest with trees partly destroyed by our barbarian ancestors by cutting tops for making place for bees' house make me to think about Polish name for such cutted tree: such trunk is named in Polish "pien", with diacritic over "n", a little one - "pieniek". It's very close to Pin or Pink, isn't it?
So in the name you can find Polish-German sincretism - Polish "Pink" and German "wart-en"... Really common-european idea... Maciek

It seams that your deduction of the prefix "pin .." is exactly correct, because first - the naming of the profession "pinkwart" was typical in border areas between Polish and German people, second - I remember that Mr Jaeger said, that the prefix "pin(k)" is an slavian word took over by Germans. In this context (pin, pink, pien, pieniek) its interesting the changing of the village from "Pinquart" to "Bienkow", what do you mean?

The suffix "-wart" is widly common in all old Germanic languages since the early middle-Age (in England too) meaning "custodian of ..." (the guard  [custodian] of the gold in the Nibelungen); we have this suffix in some old prenames and in present professions like "Tankwart" (filling station attendant) and so on.
I think we have made a good step in understanding of our name and if it may be an adventures understanding approximately, we must think over, that in medivial times the honey of bees was nearly so worthful as salt. There existed no better substances to sweet meals.Wolfgang


Pity, it wasn't WINE-WART    ...  But in old Poland alcoholized honey was the most popular drink... Maciek
Aunt Ruth had phoned some minutes before; she will send me all news in copy, she had got by her son (a picture of Czerna with a Polish description - I'll send ist to you). By the way, the map, you asked for, is younger as we thought; it's from 1937!
Greeting. Wolfgang