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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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

William Williams and the case of the "possible twin"

THIS is so exciting:  Yesterday, Larry was searching for the SAND name, online, and came across this  again:
William Joseph Sand (deceased)
Born William Williams of Brooklyn, New York on 8/11/1910. He was placed in the New York Foundling Hospital by his mother at 2 weeks old. In 1913, at 3 years and 5 months old, he was placed with Magdalena Sand in St Cloud, Minnesota. He married Eleanore Ludenia and they had six children. He worked for the railroad most of his life. He died April 20, 1985.
So, Larry wondered if there were other online references to Wm. Williams, found THIS:
"William WILLIAMS was an orphan and listed in the 1910 census age: 2 yr. 2 months at the NY Foundling Asylum.
Who were his biological parents?
Was he adopted, if so, who adopted him and where did he live after leaving the NY Foundling Aslyum in NYC?
Did his adoptive parents change his name?
William WILLIAMS may have been a twin brother of  John Austin WILLIAMS b. Feb. 27, 1908 who also was in the 1910 census at the NY Foundling.
John Austin WILLIAMS was sent on an "Orphan Train" which went to San Antonio, Texas ca 1911 where he was adopted by James QUINN and his wife Phillipina BAUMANN".
(From THIS FORUM about NY genealogy).
Hmm!  This produced all kinds of questions in the AMAZING mind of Mr Research--How come a child was adopted by an individual woman?  Was Magdalena Sand 'one of ours'?  If so, how did she connect?

WELL!  (This was the point I joined Larry online ☺).  Between us, we searched census pages and city directories from 1870 to 1940, and  figured out who Magdalena Sand was, more or less.

She was the daughter of Bernhard and Elizabeth Brodie.  They lived in St Cloud in 1870:

How did we find that?  The 1920 census, of course:

Here, a Barney Brody is living with his sister Magdalene Sand, a widow, and her two adopted kids, William and Amelia (called boarders)...but see? They were born in New York....

And, living in St Cloud.  Hmm, is the Polk Directory online for that time period?  YES, 1939:
Ah! "Widow of Nicholas C.", she was a widow when she adopted those kids.  And, see "Wm J" there? Same address as Magdalena, and he was an apprentice at the car shops.
Larry found the 1910 census, and look:  Nicholas had been married before, because there are 4 children ranging in age from 13 to 18, and he & Magdalena had been married for just one year:

On my family tree, there's a Nicholas Sand who died in 1911 in St Cloud, Minnesota.  He was the son of Peter Sand, and the brother of my great grandfather, Michael Sand. 

The child mentioned on the New York forum could very well be William John Sand, adopted son of the widow  Magdalena Sand. 
Isn't that COOL?


  1. My Grandfather is the John Austin Williams above.

  2. How delightful to hear from you, Slim! I really hope we were able to shed some light on what happened to your grandpa's twin brother--which seems likely, doesn't it? How different (Minnesota and Texas) those two kids' lives probably were. Do you have a photo of your grandfather? I'd love to post it here.
    Thanks for commenting.

  3. I sent the photo to your email account. Are there any pictures of William?

  4. Hi, Slim,
    Thank you for the photo. I'll do a new post today and add it there, with a link back to this post ☺.
    I have not seen a pic of William, but that doesn't mean much...we never expected to see a photo of John, either!
    YAY, this is so COOL!