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, September 6, 2010

Why it pays to clean the garage

It's Labor Day, so I thought I'd spend a bit of it cleaning the garage.  Yeah, I found this photo out there:

WHY was it in the garage rather than an album?  Well, the original photo is an 8 X 10, and there are 63 men pictured, so that makes some pretty tiny faces.  Still, dad made a frame for it, and I remember the thing hanging in his garage.  I think it was in moms garage at the condo later, and I had little connection to it by the time I got it after mom died in 1996. There was no good place for it in the house, so it spent another 14 years in MY garage.

 Gawd, how patient can one photo be?  It's 68 years later!

When I first scanned and enlarged it, I thought the crouching guy on the left was dad--he has the ears, and he looks like my son Josh at the same age (dad was 29 in 1942).  But then, as I was counting the men, I realized nope, dad was in the second row, 5th from the right.
The legend at the bottom reads:


Here's some info about Camp Wheeler and about the 9th Infantry, dad's eventual division.  I believe Camp Wheeler was where dad learned how to fix tanks.
Later: Larry found this film about Camp Wheeler on youtube!

You'll find other training films on youtube too, if you're interested.


  1. I have just found your blog and am interested in the research in Bohemia. My husbands family came from Rosshaupt in 1869. They settled in Millvale PA and were farmers.

    You have done a lot of research and I am interested in where you found your sources for the church records. I have not found my Sperl/Rauscher Family yet, I have been working on this for about 2 1/2 years so far.

    Claudia Sperl

  2. Hi Claudia! Well, the first thing I tried was Shtetlseeker from JewishGenWeb. They have practically every town, village or bump in the road from most of Europe, and they're listed by all the languages the town was known by, NOT only towns were Jewish folks lived.
    I tried Rosshaupt there in the Czech Republic (Bohemia) and found the village 90 miles WSW of Prague, near the German border.
    The Bohemian church records where we found my Heschs are from south of Prague, near the border with Austria, in the Trebon district. I don't know if your ancestors' area is digitizing church records, but it's worth investigating further. The Czech Republic seems to be a leader in this--the records are simply AMAZING and very intuitive to use.
    Good luck!

  3. Hi Marlys:
    Thank you for the information. I have not used that web site but will now.

    I find it interesting that both of our ancestors emigrated in 1869, now I need to find out what was going on in Bohemia at that time.

    Probably a war...