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, March 30, 2014

How do you leave Bohemia?

Well I had this whole wonderful theory about how our folks left Bohemia, especially after the 1948 revolution and the beginning of a more modern era (transportation and communication, ya know?)  I had some cool illustrations, cuz I decided we left basically the same way they probably did!  But no, there's one major sticking point--too bad.
Let me explain as tho it was still a possibility, ok? ☺

If you look at the current map here, you'll see Heidenreichstein (where Heinz and Melitta live), and their proximity to the Jindrichuv Hradec area, where our people lived prior to 1869.  Below Heidenreichstein, there's Gmund, where we got off the train.  And across the border, to the left, is Ceske Velenice.  Both towns have largish train depots, one serving Austria these days, the other serving the Czech Republic.  Wow, these two stations might have been the nearest RR stations to Oberschlagles...
We left for Prague from Ceske Velenice, and like good German stock, we were early.  Heinz treated us to coffee in the "restaurant"--basically a large room with a decorated ceiling, a bar and the Olympics on a big-screen TV in the corner.  
Since I was definitely in the Genealogy Zone, I wondered if our folks could have left from THIS VERY STATION 145 years ago?  Whew...the ceiling was probably 20 feet high, and these crests were on the top 10 feet or so.  Were they old Czech shields, or more recent decorations?  How could I find out?
We took pics so I'd remember when we got home.


This is the Ceske Velenice train station.  The middle part is the entrance, of course, and you go thru and out the other side, turn left, and walk down to the restaurant door.  I'm sure that room wasn't intended for food service tho.  It felt "make-do", and like it might have been featured in a WWII movie...desperate, romantic, tragic young soldiers bravely quaffing one more before they left for the front... Hey, it was raining, and cool...
OK, so here's the fatal flaw in my theory: 
 The map below is from 1865 (they left in 1869), and if it's accurate, the railroad only went as far as Budweis at the time.  See Neuhaus,  and Gmund?  Evidently Ceske Velenice wasn't even there yet.
Sigh.  It was a good theory tho.

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