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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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

We're back from Bohemia

Whew!  What an incredible trip.  My sister and I just got home from a trip to Europe (Rome, Austria, Czech Republic and Germany).  We visited Heinz and Melitta Binder in Heidenreichstein, Austria, and they took us on a whirlwind tour of the villages our Heschs came from 145 years ago.  Heinz is a dedicated family history buff and Melitta is tolerant.  We had a delightful time!

I expect you'd like to see some pics?
Schamers or Cimer.  It was the central market town
where our ancestors would have traded for things they couldn't make.

Marion and Heinz outside a Binder house on  Schamers' north side.
Check a following post about this...
The house was a farm house with a gate from the front leading into a
courtyard/protected enclosure formed by the barn & walls and the neighbors' barn & walls.
There was a gate in back as well, leading to the fields.
BTW, the pretty bunches of corn cobs are probably chicken feed.  In America, we used corn cribs, but here,
hanging is more efficient since the crop is smaller and there are fewer animals to feed.  I wondered
cuz its already February--practically spring--and the rafters looked full yet.  But maybe they purchase chicks
in April, then they have a nice supply of food all ready when they are.
(Thanks to Su for making sense of it ☺)
I was delighted to go into the courtyard of a couple of the houses there.
You could easily see how the space was used back then.
I'm pretty sure this was outside behind the second gate
of the farm house below.
Heinz standing in the narrow courtyard between houses.  That's the front gate beyond him.
See the green house, and warm-colored building behind
 him?--they're the Binder houses.
Below, the same house in two different photos: evidently, the house to the left was replaced by the larger fancy roof building that's there now.  (Su wrote and explained that the middle house, below, was removed and the two story building was built by three Binder sibs as a place they could retire.  It was finished in 1896). The B&W photos were found in Josef Binders' book on Schamers (published in 1908, in Prague).
Above is the  alte (old) house #42 and below right is the fancy new haus.  I believe the green house with the St Joseph statue is #40 (which only makes a diff to us when we're checking the church books).
The Binder house, #42, with a statue of St Joseph
still embedded in the wall., as it was
 around 1900, above.

The cool connection here has to do with a Wanek relative--when we got to Neuhaus (Jindrichuv Hradec), Heinz and Melitta took us to a restaurant (above) right across from the entrance to the castle, in Dobrovskeho Square.  The restaurant owners are Libor Rostik and his wife Iva Rostikova...who are also the restorers of the building
we're standing in front of, above  left. 

 A lovely couple, the food was savory and delicious at the restaurant,and the house in Schamers is lovely...check it out!

Here's the farmhouse at Schamers #40 if you can't translate that page ☺.  Here's a photo of the inside; it has vaulted ceilings, tile floors and a sweet outdoor area that would have been the farmyard once.  It's beautiful.


  1. Do you have this link? It is for the 1869 Bohemian census. I just came across it this morning.

    1. Wow, Claudia, no we hadn't seen that website b4. There's a lot more than 1869 there, too. The first Plzen book I opened, with our villages, is 225 pages, years 1560 to 1624. I'm still not sure what it records, tho ☺ but THANKS!

  2. I had not checked back that far, I was so excited about what I found. I am more excited now. I hope I can find all the ancestors and their siblings. I have often wondered about the siblings and parents which would be my husbands 3x great grandparents...I am glad you checked it more than I...

  3. Marlys, what are those things hanging from the ceiling in the barn? They look sort of like bananas but are obviously not.

    1. Hey, Becks--They're corn cobs--but I couldn't figure out why they dried em like that, and for what? Squirrels? You'd need a thousand squirrels for that much corn. I suppose it might be for fall decoration NEXT fall, maybe anticipating a craft sale or something...? Is there a way dried corn could be used for human food--like ground up, etc--ack, you're right. It doesn't make sense, but it's sure decorative in that barn ☺.