World Families Forums - tradition of pirates

Home Help Search Login Register
This is an archival copy of the old forum. This copy does not allow new posts, nor can you log in to this forum.
For the current active forum, please visit

+  World Families Forums
|-+  Family Boards
| |-+  Surname Projects Starting With 'S'
| | |-+  Slecht (Moderator: Slecht)
| | | |-+  tradition of pirates
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Go Down Print
Author Topic: tradition of pirates  (Read 7293 times)
New Member
Offline Offline

Posts: 1

« on: August 06, 2011, 07:11:06 PM »

how many more of you have some version of this.  That we were privateers, specializing in raiding Spanish ships.  I have found it in 3 families in deep south.

The name Slecht we were told means pirate, cutthroat or butcher, & that is why it was changed from Floresz to Slecht.  I reckon the queasy pacifists didn't like our branch.  I do not see it as perjorative atall.

Anyhow send anything on it you have ever heard & I'll work up a peice on it.
Offline Offline

Posts: 5

« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2011, 07:18:32 PM »

Several genealogical researchers believe the 'Slecht' family name memorializes the 'bad' behavior of some ancestors; However, this notion is only conjecture. Old and Middle Dutch senses of 'Slecht' included 'flat,' 'smooth,' 'plain,' and 'simple,' to name a few. 'Slecht' did not connote 'bad' until the "sufficiently late" period of the 30 Years War, 1618-1648 (Nietzsche). The first recorded occurrence of this name as applied to this family is 25 October 1577; Furthermore, proliferation of this surname in the Netherlands beginning in the 14th century is evident from the historical record. Perhaps the family changed the spelling of the name as the Modern Dutch meaning congealed and knowledge of the Old and Middle Dutch meanings faded. The following editorial typifies the conventional etymological theory:

"Notes for Cornelis Barentszen Slecht."

"Nathaniel Sylvester, in his book "History of Ulster County, New York," part 1, p 47, notes that, though the Dutch translation of Slecht means 'bad,' [Cornelis Barentszen Slecht] was not a bad man, though he was known to be hot-headed, quick, resentful, and troublesome to civil authorities. The name was attached as a nickname to earlier relatives and, for some reason, the family adopted it. Likely the name did not have a stigma in Holland as the history of the name was known and was likely in the context of "knave," but in New Amsterdam, the context was absent, and the family soon changed the spelling . . . In Holland, Cornelis' near ancestors had adopted 'Slecht,' the nickname they had been given for the foibles of a few relatives, even though 'Slecht' or 'Slechten"' meant 'naughty,' 'bad,' [or] 'evil' in Dutch. Doubtless this was done in a good-natured humor as an inside joke in the small community who knew them. Cornelis retained the name in America. However, those immigrants in America would not know the circumstances and would not understand the context of having a surname meaning 'bad.' The Slecht name did not, therefore, survive beyond his children, because later generations changed it to Sleight, Sleght, to eliminate the 'bad' definition" (McBride).

McBride, Grant. "Notes for Cornelis Barentszen Slecht." <>.

Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm. Genealogy of Morals. Publishing, 2007. pp. 6-7 <>.

"Sleightburgh" offers a discussion of the Etymology of 'Slecht.'
« Last Edit: August 21, 2011, 02:40:01 AM by Slecht » Logged
Offline Offline

Posts: 5

« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2011, 02:32:22 AM »

Students of the history of European Martial Arts encounter the usage of the word 'Slecht,' in the sense of 'Strike,' as late as the 15th century. From this perspective, an allusion of the family name to 'pirate,' 'cutthroat,' or 'butcher,' seems plausible.

"Mertin Siber's Longsword Fight-Lore of 1491 AD."

Note that my rendering of schlecht as “strikes” is a judgement-call. Perhaps there is also a pun here on schlechtas “simply” – for as Nietzsche remarks in Genealogy of Morals, both schlecht and schlicht meant “simple, basic, plain” in the centuries before the Thirty Years War (1618-48 AD), bereft of any negative connotation (bad, ill, poor), as admittedly some maintain. In context of varying dialects and differing parts of speech, a brief survey of some KdF reveals: JLSR seem to use schlecht to mean either “strike” or “simple”, schlechtlich to mean “simply”, schlöcht for “strike”, and schlachen or schlagen for “striking”; HT uses schlag or schlecht to mean “strike”; Wallerstein uses slecht or slach for “strike” and slachen for “striking”; Lew uses schlecht or schleg to mean “strike”; and Lignitzer uses slecht, schleg and schlagk for “strike”. In HT’s wrestling schlecht or schlagcan mean “punch, slam, sweep”. Wittenwiller uses schlach and schlechten for “strike” and “striking" (Hull).

Hull, Jeffrey. "Mertin Siber's Longsword Fight-Lore of 1491 AD" The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts, 2005. <>.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2011, 02:38:51 AM by Slecht » Logged
Pages: [1] Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

SEO light theme by © Mustang forums. Powered by SMF 1.1.13 | SMF © 2006-2011, Simple Machines LLC

Page created in 0.189 seconds with 19 queries.