The Jonas Name

There are many spelling variations of the surname Jonas. Among them: Jonasch, Jonash, Jonas, Jonasz, Jonat, Jonietz, Joneweit, Jonescheit, Joneleit, Jonischkeit, Joneck, Jonek, Jonentz, Jonack. My ancestors settled on the spelling Jonas. Although in a few of the US Federal censuses we see them listed as Jones and at least one of the brothers permanently changed their name to Jones during World War II. Being as how Jones is a very popular surname, as you can imagine, it is not always easy finding the right John Jones, or Jonas in this case. My family of Jonases emigrated from Germany, specifically an area by the name of Kittendorf in the Stavenhagen region.

From what I understand there are about 372 citizens in the present day Kittendorf. We would love to find out if any Jonases or Schroeders still live in this area.

All of the Jonases in Kittendorf we believe descended from Aulrich Jonas who moved to the village after the Thirty Years War, 1618 to 1848. Aulrich was born about 1636, but we don’t know where. It probably was not Kittendorf. Kittendorf and the surrounding countryside was hard hit in the 1630s, so there were lots of vacant farms after the war. Records weren’t kept again until about 1698. It is believed that Aulrich passed sometime before 1704. Aulrich had two sons, Bernd, b. 1666 and Johann, born quite a bit later by another wife.[1] He also had three daughters.

There were two Jonas families that immigrated to Mishicot, Manitowoc County from Kittendorf. A fellow researcher has traced his family much further back that we have. His family descended from the older brother, Bernd, his son Christian, b. 1705, his son Johann Friedrich, b. 1730, his son Behrend Christian, b. 1771, and his son, the researcher’s great grandfather, Friedrich, b. 1816, who settled in Mishicot.

Our branch we believe to have descended from the other brother, Johann. We have traced the paternal side of the family as far back as Jochen Freidrich Jonas (b. 1785), father of Gust Christian Theodor Jonas, my 3rd great grandfather. Gust or August as he was known, emigrated from Kittendorf Stavenhagen in 1852.I have not yet connected the my family with this family.

[1] Information from a fellow Jonas researcher. As I do not have permission to publish the name on the internet, please contact me if you are interested in contacting this researcher.

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