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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Friday, February 12, 2010

Blessed chalk?

Larry and I often talk about Bohemia/Germany/Luxembourg/Poland in the context of Catholicism, and how my ancestors were affected by it.  Did they fervently believe, or was it really just another obligation?  Since we were both raised Catholic in the era of almighty nuns and priests, theres a curiousity about which customs and holy days were brought to America by those Bohemian German Catholic Heschs and Polish Catholic Otrembas...and which customs/holy days were just 'central Minnesota' or Benedictine.

This afternoon, we chatted about amulets and superstition, but I didn't remember anything in particular.  Larry asked about stuff over the doorway--did we do that?  I said blessed palms and blessed chalk.  Umm....Chalk?
WOW.  Even I hadn't remembered chalk until he asked.  Where did that come from?

Once more, Google to the rescue: a central European custom at Epiphany--using the three kings' names with the this year, you'd write over the door in blessed chalk:
20 + C + M + B +10
But, WHAT made them connect the Magi with chalk and doorways?  Sigh!

(LOL...I do remember it as being able to write on the walls, and that mom couldn't object!)

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