It is the year 1760, we are in the pastor’s expedition in Dobbin in the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. In comes Paschen BUCHIN, the manorial shepherd, and informs the pastor that his wife Catharina Magdalena nee Däbel gave birth to a son the day before. He would like him to be baptized. The pastor is in a bad mood, the landlord “forgot” to bring him the firewood as he was obliged to and he is so sick and tired of running after this guy. But he is the local pastor and he has to do his job and so they make an appointment. Paschen goes to inform the godparents about the upcoming event. On September 7, 1760 the child is baptized and receives the names Joachim Christoffer Paschen. The pastor puts it down into the church book. What was the surname? Something like Pochin. The shepherd isn’t of any help, he doesn’t even know how to spell his own name. And because the letters B and P sound quite alike in the local dialect, the pastor simply doesn’t know better. So, POCHIN it is. And even if it’s wrong, who cares? In fact, the shepherd himself goes by the names BOUCHIN, BOCHIEN, BOCHIN and BUCHIN. So why not name the boy POCHIN?
Little Joachim Christoffer Paschen grows up, gets married and has kids of his own. But by then he uses the name Joachim Christopher Daniel (instead of Paschen) BUCHIN. His daughter Caroline gets married in 1825 bearing the name BUCHIN. When her kids are baptized she still is BUCHIN. But then why does her son spell her and her brother Friedrich’s surname BOCHIN? Find me confused…. The passenger list from Hamburg shows BUCHIN, the ship manifest from New York states BOCHIN. When the census-taker comes to their house in Babcocks Grove, Illinois, their name is even spelled BOOKEN. And when Friedrich dies he is back to BUCHIN again.
BOCHIN; BUCHIN; POCHIN; BOUCHIN; BOCHIEN; BOOKEN – obviously one family can go by six different names. Wonder if there are more ways to spell it? POUCHIEN, maybe? Or BOOCHEN? Or…..