Wiltschko name and origin

We received an incredible email from Viktor and Vilma Wiltschko of Budapest. This is without doubt the best information yet on the Wiltschko name and origin. The email was edited for grammar, and links were added, but it is otherwise untouched.


The Wiltschko name has six consonants in a row.  This usually causes Americans unfamiliar with the name to give it three syllables rather then the two it should have.  


Most members of our family pronounce it Wilt' shkoe, where "Wilt" is pronounced as it is spelled in English (e.g. as in "Wilt Chamberlain"), and the "sch" is pronounced as it is in German, as "sh".  The "oe" ending is meant to signify a long "o" as in "toe".  Others in the family pronounce it the same with the single exception of the "sch" sound which is reduced to a simple "s" sound, resulting in Wilt' skoe.


Christian Wiltschko in Munich said that a professor once told him the word meant "little wolf".  So far, this is the only information we have on its meaning. See Munich visit 1994.


We U.S. Wiltschkos don't know much about the origin of our family.  We do know that the first known Wiltschko in the U.S. was our ancestor, Matthias Wiltschko, who said he came from Bohemia.  The Wiltschkos we called in Munich in 1994 certainly gave us some help, but we are still looking for more information.  We surmise that most Wiltschkos in Germany and Austria are part of 11-20 million (estimates vary ) German-speaking people expelled from Poland and Czechoslovakia after World War II.  Some of those I talked to in Munich mentioned former homes in what is now the Czech Republic.

We know from the on-line German telephone directory that there are 178 instances of "Wiltschko" in all of Germany. Our page on Wiltschkos outside the U.S. lists  114.  Currently there is no equivalent to this kind of directory in Austria, but again, our page lists 58.  There are instances of "Wiltschek" and similar names in the same area, but we don't know if there is any connection.  My father (William Wesley Wiltschko) once told me that our name had been "Germanized" before the first U.S. Wiltschko arrived here, but he never said what the name was before "Germanization".

From David V. Wiltschko:

Wiltschko is "Germanized Czech", meaning it was once spelled Wiltczo and was later changed. We have also heard that we come from southern Czechoslovakia. My great grandfather came to America in the middle 1800's and settled first on the Great Lakes in Michigan (Escanaba) and then moved to North Dakota to farm. My grandfather was born there and farmed until the "Dust Bowl" of the depression years of the 30's at which time he moved his family to Washington state, where there was lots of water! I and my two brothers and sister were born in Washington state and lived in Vancouver, Washington. My father worked for Alcoa (Aluminum company of America) as a metallurgical engineer. We transferred to northern New York state in the 60's and all of us went to college from there.


Other links:

Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International