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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Saturday, April 7, 2012

"These things seem unrelated, but one led to the other...

(and isn't that all part of the fun?)"

A missive from Su from February 9th this year--it's too interesting to just leave in my email cache.  You'll learn something here.....

Dear Marlys,
Some time ago (before the Great Enlightenment when I made contact with you) I was investigating the Austro-Hungarian Army because one of the few photos of Czech relatives I have is of a man, who shows considerable familial likeness, with his wife and son.  He is in military uniform and I am now 99% certain that this is Granddad Ludwig's brother Josef Wanekwith his wife Katharina Rausch and their son Adolf.   The photo is dated 17th Jan 1917 so was taken in the First World War.  As far as I can tell he is wearing the uniform of the Austro-Hungarian cavalry but I can't determine the rank for certain because it is a black & white photo and the colour of the bands on the collar is important. (Katharina also seems to be wearing some sort of uniform as she has epaulettes and unusual cuffs but I haven't investigated that yet.)  It is a lovely photo as little Adolf is wearing knee-high button-boots, knee-britches and a knitted jumper of the type I would call a Guernsey.  Sadly, I know that little Adolf died as a young man of 32 only 4 months or so after the end of the 2nd World War in Wels in Austria.

(Has little to do with this post...)
 At the same time I was also investigating the house numbering system of villages in Bohemia because I did not then understand how to read the address on Ludwig's Baptismal certificate (it being Pre-Enlightenment). These things seem unrelated, but one led to the other (and isn't that all part of the fun!).  A house numbering system was instigated in 1770-1772, in the reign of Maria Theresa and her son Joseph II, to aid administration and underpin the new army recruitment system.  Later (After Enlightenment), when I was reading the list of the Houses and their Occupants and owners compiled by Herr Schimeczek in his Gedenbuch / chronicles of Schamers, I noted that each house was identified by K or "Kouskr." number.  Herr Schimeczek did not explain what it meant and I didn't get anywhere until I suddenly realised I'd been consistently mis-reading what he wrote: it was Konskr not Kouskr (and you can guess how I did that, but I really should have noticed the lack of the bar over the problem letter - some people make life difficult for themselves!) 

(A pretty illustration, don't you think?) 
I had also completely forgotten about the conscription system and got myself into a right pickle but Herman made it all clear.  The closest word I can find that would correspond to this abbreviation is 'konskribier-en' :levy: troops or konskribier-te(r), conscript.  In my own defence I should say that Herr Schimeczek must have been having an 'off day' because he confused things a bit by using 'K' for the spellings in the title of each section but using 'C' when writing about it in the text!  There were other houses numbering systems and Herr Schimeczek included a useful table in the Gedenbuch of Schamers that lists the new Konskr. Numbers against the previous system of Grund numbers for each property, and being a dutiful and conscientious Chronicler he made another table on the next page of listing the Grund Numbers against the Konskr. Numbers!

and a very interesting digest of a book on the subject.

Yes, this is rambling around somewhat but I will get there (eventually!)

The internet produced information about army conditions and life and also conscription age and various changes in army regulations.  

On reading this I noted that there were changes to the regulations concerning conscription and compulsory Military Service in 1868....   

.....Here's an interesting essay about emigration, which includes some information about the costs and the paperwork and what the authorities thought about it:

Kysilka, Karel.  Emigration to the USA from the Policka region in 1850 - 1890 (An historical - statistic essay) 1999.

One thing that becomes clear from the above essay is that house ownership was not as rare as we thought and that also seems to be upheld by the information in the Schamers Chronicles.
 -sorry if you've already found all this - you know exactly how exciting it can be when you get on a roll and I do love to share things!
love Su.

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