During a recent trip to visit her aunt, Margaret Bryan, in Wichita, Katherine Bryan, formerly of Canton, confirmed that the spelling of the family name “Youk” had changed twice since the family immigrated to Kansas.
The Youk family is descended from Germans who immigrated to Russia before coming to the U.S. When the family left Russia, the name was spelled Jauk, as written on a church confirmation certificate for Martha Louise Jauk, Bryan’s grandmother. The certificate from Zion Church in Hillsboro is dated 1906.
Later on, the spelling changed to Yauk before the family settled on spelling it Youk. The story in the family, Bryan said, is that the spelling was changed when census takers insisted Youk should be spelled with a Y.
“It makes it difficult for family historians to find their ancestors,” said Bryan, who now lives in Elk Ridge, Utah.
Further complicating genealogical research is that the name originally may have been spelled Jauck in Germany or Switzerland, she said.