Dschaak- What nationality is that? German. Really? Where does it come from?

With a name as unusual as Dschaak that is a frequent exchange when meeting new people. With that I decided this would be a good blog entry.

Where does it come from?

We know our most immediate ancestors are of German decent who immigrated to the U.S. from the Odessa area of the Ukraine in the 1800’s. There are many different spellings in the official records: Jauk, Jaak, Schaak, Dzaak, Dzauk, Dzauck, and Dschaak. Apparently, the official records most often were wedding and birth records which were recorded by the local priest. They often entered the name phonetically, which is why you find so many different spellings of such an unusual name. Dschaak is unique even in the Germanic areas.

Why so unusual?

Based on a letter from Joseph Height (circa 1970) the French name Jacques was germanized into Dschaak (and various other spellings) during the days of the French Huguenots. The Huguenots were contemporary with the Lutherans in Germany. In the mid 1500’s they became a large and influential political group. They were persecuted by the Catholic government. In 1572 the government began the Massacre of St. Batholomew’s Day in which thousands of Huguenots were killed. Many of the Huegenots left France for Holland, America, England, and Prussia. We can track the Dschaak family back to Prussia in the 1600’s, which lends to the theory that they were originally French Huguenots.

Written by: Martin Dschaak

Source: A Brief History of the Dschaak Family by Jennice Dschaak Abercrombie Curlee.


So, I was scanning in some old pictures and came across these pictures at our old house in Portage, Michigan, which reminds me of a story.

Before we moved to Michigan we lived in Rancho Santa Margarita, California.   I was talking to Alex one fine October day.  October’s in Southern California are often like a nice summer day in many parts of the country.  Alex was saying she wished she lived somewhere that the leaves fell off the trees, so she could play in the leaves.  She, also, said she wished that she lived where it snowed.  Well, it was not two weeks later that I received a call from my boss.  He had an offer for a promotion which would mean a move to Southwest Michigan.

Both of Alex’s wishes came true.  We bought a house that had 31 oak trees in the back yard.  We had plenty of leaves to pile high and play in.  We had lots of fun and so did the dogs.   We, also, got more snow than any of us cared to have.  I recall one day in the spring it snowed and Alex said, “It’s snowing again!” Even the girls were tired of the snow.


Taylor swam for the Cincinnati Marlins at the Ohio Junior Olympics (State) Championships this weekend. She swam 5 Personal Best times and finished in the top 10 in 5 events! Her best finish was in the 500 Freestyle with a 6th place finish. One of her best events is the 100 Butterfly, but she had a bad swim in Prelims. She ended up in the Consolation round of Finals which meant the best she could do was finish 9th. So even though she had the 5th fastest time overall, she officially took 9th.

You can view complete results and comments on the a PDF by clicking on the following link: CLICK HERE

Her Short Course swim season is now over. She gets short break before practice starts back up for Long Course season. She is going to fill the time running track for Loveland Middle School. This will be her 1st season of track. She is a pretty fast runner, so I imagine her track career will be a great as her swimming.


We received 12 inches of snow in a little over 24 hours at our house. That is the most in a single storm, since we have been here and was near record amount. Everything was pretty much shut down Friday evening and all day Saturday. Here are some pictures of the girls and dogs in the snow:


Taylor received the Student of the Month award at school today. This is the 3rd time in her 6 years at Loveland Schools.

Taylor’s art teacher presented this along with her certificate:


Competing in the Ohio Senior Championships* Alex earned a right to compete at the Sectional Meet** by swimming a 25.11 in the 50 Free. Her goal was to get a Sectional cut this season and she did it in the last meet of the season. We all thought she would do it in either the 100 Back or 200 Back. I think swimming all the 50 Free legs during High School Sectional, District, and State championship meets really got her dialed in on that event. She swam PB times every time she swam it over the last 4 weeks.

Additionally, she swam a total 5 PB times during the meet. CLICK HERE to download PDF of Alex’s results from the Ohio Senior Meet including PB time, swim times, and final place.

The Sectional Meet will be Mar. 27 – 30 in Indianapolis.

* Ohio Senior Championships = The Ohio Senior Short Course Championship intent is to promote excellence within the ranks of Ohio Swimming. The purpose is not only to provide a venue for those swimmers aspiring to attain Sectional and National qualifying times, but also to give all Senior swimmers within Ohio the opportunity to participate in a high quality competitive meet. The Ohio Senior Short Course Championships are open to all swimmers 15 years old and older.

** Sectional Meet is the next level of competition for Alex now that she has turned 15 and no longer competes in Age Group competition in USA swim competition.

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