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, March 13, 2012

Speaking of Czechs...

...the American pronunciation of the ethnicity Czech is 'check', right?  We say 'Check Republic', and the old combined state was pronounced  'Check-a-slovakia'.  However, when it comes to the Morrison county family named Czech, it's pronounced with what seems like a Germanic twist: (ts)'zek.  It's similar to czar--a tiny 'ts' sound at the start, so it's not just zar or Zech (tho that's heard around here, too).

In my mind, there are 3 or 4 associations with the Czech family, beyond Roselin Sand marrying Alphonse Czech.  One is the old couple northeast of us when we lived on the Dropps farm, in the early 70s.  I've cobbled together four section photos from the 1940 Minnesota DNR air survey to illustrate.  (Yes, I KNOW how much you love stuff like this ☺.  Just humor me, ok?)
Lower left corner of
the photo composite above
I doubt whether even my sibs remember much about the Dropps farm.  It had been abandoned years before we bought it, and for good reason.  The land, all 240 acres of it, was blow-sand, and totally hopeless for crops other than sandburrs and scrub cedars.  Still the barn was good, and the house was a solid red brick Sears mail order house, without furnace or plumbing, built for $3,900.  In this 1940 air photo, the place was new, and no one had failed there yet.

Our nearest neighbors were Tom & Minnie Czech, who lived in a tiny house oddly connected to ours by a rutted field road.  We were starry eyed and fairly stupid hippies who thought we could go "back to the land".  They took us in to their hearts, and never laughed at far as we know ☺.  They  babysat for Josh, and he loved it there.  I don't recall them ever being in a hurry--they had all the time we needed.  They were wonderful friends. And, they were the parents of Alphonse, who married Roselin Sand, a neighbor girl from across the road.  Neat, huh?
When I found this next pic in the Morrison County Atlases, I assumed it was Tom's family of origin, but nope, Martin and Mary Czech settled across the river in the Prussian areas around Bowlus and Swan River.  And since I already looked them up, here's the pic and the names of the kids. I'm assuming the boys are in chronological order: Charles (John) b 1874, Stanislaus b 1876, Michael b 1880, Frank b 1884, Peter b 1886, Rockus b 1889 and Robert b 1891.  The girls were Brigitta, b 1879, and Anna, b 1882.  Mary and Martin were both born in 1846.  Are they related to Tom?  I dunno, but they look like a nice family, huh?
The other connection I think of is an article Larry found ages ago, from the St Cloud Times, after I mentioned names I remembered from my childhood.  (The man is methodical in that he regularly searches for a whole list of names from his own family and mine.  We are truly blessed ☺).

This couple is connected too--possibly thru Sam, but certainly thru Alvina, who was a sister of Elegius Otremba. Cool, huh?  (TG we have Larry to research AND to comment on posts! ☺)
You're welcome!  
Love, Larry and Marlys ☺


  1. Alvirna Czech = Alvirna Otremba = Eligius' Sister


  2. Alvina not Alvirna.
    That is all.

  3. WOW! Did we know that when you found the article?