The Naatz-Whitham Connection

A Brief History

The Naatz Family

My Brother

John Charles Naatz (Jack)

 October 30, 1921 - April 23, 2001

Photograph taken when he graduated from Syracuse University.

Thou hast nor youth nor age;

But as it were, an after-dinner's sleep."


 Liberal, Kansas - WWII - c.1943

Jack and buddy Louis Volpe from New Jersey show their ball team's trophy.

My brother - who was ROTC, joined the "Army Air Corps" in 1942. His extreme near-sightedness made him 'unfit for overseas duty' - or Officers Candidate School (OCS), much to my mother's delight & his chagrin. He spent the war in Kansas.

I was born Sallie Naatz in Syracuse NY in 1931. The surname is uncommon in the Central New York area. As I've grown older, I've become more interested in the unusual family name - pronounced "nots" and finding out just where my 'leaf' is placed on the family tree.

Unfortunately, many of those who could have supplied answers to some of the questions are now gone. I was told by a local artist, who came to this country as a refugee from Austria during World War II, that the double vowel in my name indicated that the origin of the name was the Netherlands - or possibly the German 'Low Country' adjacent to Holland.

My Grandfather

Charles Naatz 

b. 1837 - Prussia  

d. 1915 Chittenango, NY

Emilie had 2 children from a prior marriage, Charles had one. Though her name appears as Emilie on her marriage certificate, it was altered to Amelia at some point. Perhaps they thought it sounded more 'English'?

 The Whithams of Oswego NY

My Great-Grandmother, Kate LaClair Loungley (Longley/Loungliere) & Unknown Child

Things My Mother Never Told Me

My grandfather had a quite common legacy - English and Irish. His wife - my grandmother - was another story. She was of French-Canadian descent. I like to say that my ancestors were coureurs de bois - an elegant phrase with an inelegant meaning - literally "runners of the bush". The fact  is that most of the very early settlers of Canada were French immigrants who became traders and trappers. Many of them entered into marriages - or quasi-marriages - with Indian women. This of course was never mentioned within the family. Great-grandmother was French Canadian. I never saw this picture until after my mother and all her siblings were dead so I have no way to ask the many questions that I would like to ask.

    My Mother as a young woman - by Lake Ontario

 Henry W. Whitham was Adjutant of the Oswego Brand of the GAR. I had heard my mother refer to an uncle who served in the Civil War and was a prisoner of the Confederates. My research indicates that  this is indeed true. This tiny booklet is all we have - unfortunately there are no pictures of the man. I hope one day to find one - if any exist.


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