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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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Godfrey brothers from the Orphan Trains

George Godfrey, born 1904 in New York City.
He was 16 here.

Henry Godfrey,
 born in 1906 in New York City.
He was 14.

This week, Larry found a stunning website called Orphan Train Riders of New York (Midwest).  It's children from New York orphanages who were adopted by families in Minnesota mostly.  The kids are listed alphabetically, but of course they're not ALL there.  I found only one Hesch adoption listed:

Thomas Grey (birth name)  Tommy Hesch (foster/adoptive name)
 NYFH Rider to Little Falls, MN

...but I know dad had two adopted brothers whose birth names were George and Henry Godfrey.  On the 'Riders' pages, I found a Godfrey, just not ours.

 George Godfrey with baby Mike,
c 1914.
Richard Henry Godfrey (birth name)
1878 CAS Rider to St Charles, MN

It seems almost as tho kids were distributed like candy at a parade, but the orphanages in NY did try to keep track of them.  The idea was to give abandoned kids a chance, which they sure didn't have in the crowded NY orphanages.  I think most of the kids were better off in Minnesota than destitute in NYC. I hope most of them felt that way, too.
From census records we know that George stayed with the family till he was at least 26, but Henry left as soon as he could.  We have no idea what happened to either of them, or if they used the name Hesch. I really hope their lives were good. 

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