This blog is dedicated to my parents, brothers, sister, and cousins who are descendants of Johannes (John) Gutke and Johanna Mork Gutke (pictured above). I am in the process of posting everything I have, so that I can back up documents/photos and also access the info from any location. There are likely to be mistakes, so check back often and feel free to comment if you have corrections!


Deniane Gutke Kartchner


The Gutke Name Game

So, where to begin? We are the Johannes Gutke family. Many of us live in Utah, a big bunch hailing from Smithfield and another branch with their roots in Salt Lake. Another bunch located in McCammon, Idaho and we probably still have cousins there, too. I know there must be relatives in Sweden, since Johannes Gutke had at least one grown child (Carl Johan) who did not come to the U.S. with the rest of the family in 1879.

Growing up, I understood that the Gutke name is of Germanic origin  - "gut" means good and "ke" means little. I always thought that was cool - my name means "Good Little Deniane!"  But I have also seen the translation more like "goodies"... as in a cracker or a treat, or a .... cookie.  I know there is at least one Gutke mother out there who at one time of her life has been known as "Mrs. Cookie" or "Grandma Cookie"... so it fits.

Which leads me to explain that there are different pronunciations of the name, mainly in how people pronounce the sound of the letter "u".

Some say "GUT" key ... as in "gut feeling" or "I love your guts."

Others it's more "Goo"ey... As in shoe. Goo. "Goot key."

My great aunt Norma who is 91 this year (hence her qualification for the original pronunciation) pronounces it "good". "Good key."

And about the "ke." I did learn enough German in high school to know that rather than "key," it's pronounced more like "kuh."  So, I guess it makes sense that when Johannes' son Anders (Andrew) F. Gutke came on the ship Wisconsin to Utah in the late 1800's, the ship manifest listed his surname as "Gupka." Goop. Kuh. (The person taking their names spelled them phonetically as they said them, so I think that's the way he must have said it!)

Lately, I'm trying to go somewhere in the middle with the "goo" and "good"... but the "gut" pronunciation is definitely "out " for me. And so is the pronunciation "gewkie" (without the T). Which reminds me of a funny family story.

One day in the mid-1980's, my mom got a phone call; when she answered the phone, an unidentified cheerful lady said, "Hi, this is so and so..." and then went into a long discussion of whatever she wanted to talk about.

The only problem was, the unidentified cheerful lady had the wrong number. She wasn't talking to whomever she thought she was talking to, and Mom, who didn't want her to go on and on forever without realizing this, cut in politely when she had the chance. "Do you know you have the Gutke's?" she said.

There was a horrified silence on the other end. "I have the WHAT?" she finally managed. She must have thought "gewkies" was a condition of some kind; maybe even a disease. (And then I think she hung up.)

Well, being a Gutke probably means we do have some kind of a condition, at least traits that we all share and love of common ancestors. I tend to think our positive traits are tenacity, hard work, and a sense of humor. Aunt Norma says stubbornness (rather than tenacity) is definitely a Gutke trait, and impatience, (if we are judging by her Dad, Carl.)

I hope you enjoy the website with the information I am gathering to connect us all together.

Deniane Gutke Kartchner

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