This branch of the Austrian Hesch family is descended from Johann Hesch and his wife Marya (Schlinz) Hesch, who came to America from Oberschlagles, Bohemia with three sons: Paul, Mathias, and Anton. +++Johann & Marya settled in Buffalo County, Wisconsin but moved to Pierz, Mn in about 1885. .+++Mathias settled in Waumandee, Wisconsin and moved to Pierz in 1911. +++Anton never married but farmed with his dad in Agram Township, where he died in 1911.+++And Paul, my great grandfather, settled five miles away, in Buckman, Minnesota. He died there in 1900.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

"Relative" Strangers

Looking for Johann and Maria Hesch in Minnesota in 1885, we found them in 'Little Falls' (Agram, really), but Maria's husband was listed as "Charles", and their children were 40, 30 and 10 years old...whew. How could that be?

Now, you have to realize that I tend to believe the printed word. I assume fact-checking (WHY??), and being proven wrong...well, I don't prefer it.

Still, I'd never heard of a Charles Hesch, and the age range of their kids was amazing if I took it at face

I asked a genealogist friend, Jean Marthaler, what she thought. Jean suggested that Paul and Rosalia were visiting that day, and perhaps no one would talk to the enumerator except 10 year old Rosalia, who in any case was probably the most proficient in English among 'em.....?

Jean suggested I look to see if Paul (40) and Rosalia (10) might have been listed elsewhere in their OWN family. They were...

Well, then I wondered why this enumerator didn't have a feel for German--he had such confident handwriting, and most often, enumerators around there had German names (each page is signed at the top). HA! J. D. LaChance signed these pages. NOT a good German boy.

At the time we were puzzling over this, I'd never heard of J.D. before, but since then we've found his name in Little Falls society columns of the day, and in history books from...well, 1881, for instance:

LOL...can you imagine that little episode?

A buggy pulls into the yard, and a man in a suit gets out with a large book under his arm. It's early June, probably a hot, sunny day, and the man looks frazzled.

"Another German family--why me??", he thinks.

And John says, winking, " Rose, Sie gehen sprechen mit ihm, wir sind beschäftigt. Sagen Sie ihm, dass wir Englisch nicht sprechen....Vermutung wenn haben Sie dazu! "

("Rose, you go talk to him, we are busy. Tell him we don't speak English.... Guess if you have to!")

Damn, this is FUN!!

1 comment:

  1. I was scrolling down the blog and noticed that J.D. Lachance also signed Paul and Mary's marriage license...!