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Hrncir (Toepfer), Benes, Straka, Maertz (Marz) Bohemia to Milwaukee

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Hrncir (Toepfer), Benes, Straka, Maertz (Marz) Bohemia to Milwaukee

Posted: 1197414662000
Classification: Query

I am researching family members who came to the US from Bohemia. Most immigrated during the 1860's. Many of these family members lived in Milwaukee, WI or nearby areas.

This is my grandfather's family. Franz HRNCIR, b 10 Jun 1845, Sazau, Bohemia, Austria d 11 Apr 1902 Milwaukee, WI. He was the son of Joseph HRNCIR and Magdalene PATEK (1793 Kruezberg, Bohemia -1884) Some time after arriving in the US he changed his name to Frank TOEPFER. Frank was a machinist and a locksmith, along with a partner he built what may be the first gasoline powered vehicle in the US. The automobile is in the museum in Milwaukee along with a replica of his early locksmith shop.

Frank married Anna BENES born 31 Jan 1843 Hlinsko, Bohemia, Austria - died 12 Nov 1920 Milwaukee, WI. She was the daughter of Anton BENES and Marie MOUCEK of Hlinsko.

Frank and Anna arrived in the US in Sep 1866. Their children were: Frantisek (Frank)(1867-1903), Anna (1869-1874), Karel (Charles)(1871-1927), Adolf (1872-1954),Emil Jan (1874-1953),Ferdinand (1876-1877), Anna Marie (1877-1880), Edward J (1879-1959), Julius Albert (1881-1915), Emile Emma Toepfer THURNER (1883-1955), Julia Anna Toepfer STARSZAK (1887-1969).

We have quite a bit of family information for Anna Benes and on many family members after they arrived in the US. Frank's family in Bohemia and if he had siblings has been a bit of a brick wall. We would like to know if Frank had siblings, if any may have immigrated to the US or if he may have had uncles, cousin who immigrated as well.

We have a photograph which was with the family photo collection of a man named Wenzel TOEPFER who lived in Milwaukee. He was born in 1825 in Bohemia, immigrated in 1854, lived in Milwaukee and died in 1898. Like Frank, Wenzel was locksmith and a tinkerer and inventor. According to some family information Frank and Wenzel were cousins but we have no concrete evidence of that claim. I found the following info on Ancestry after putting in Wenzel's surname as HRNCIR:

Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s
about Wenzel Hrncir
Name: Wenzel Hrncir
Year: 1855
Age: 30
Estimated birth year: abt 1825
Place: Baltimore, MD
Source Publication Code: 206.6
Primary Immigrant: Hrncir, Wenzel
Annotation: Date and port of arrival. Also includes country of origin and name of ship. Place of intended destination may also be provided. Extracted from National Archives Microcopy 255, rolls 1 through 31.
Source Bibliography: BACA, LEO. Czech Immigration Passenger Lists, Volume VIII. Richardson, TX: Author, 1707 Woodcreek, Richardson, TX 75082, 1999. 192p.
Page: 58

For some reason Frank changed his surname to TOEPFER and we are wondering if perhaps this was on suggestion of Wenzel who may have changed his name from HRNCIR to TOEPFER. I've been told that both names mean potter.

This is my grandmother's family who immigrated from Bohemia. Her father was Joseph STRAKA and I hope to be able to learn more about him, did he have siblings, did any of those siblings or any other family members immigrate to the US, etc.

Joseph was born 23 May 1845 in Bohemia we believe his parents were John STRAKA and Catharina TOBROZ. We don't know his town of birth or where his family lived in Bohemia. On census records for Milwaukee, WI Joseph states twice he immigrated in 1867 and once he declares 1866. Joseph died 5 Nov 1920 and was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Milwaukee.

He married Josephine MAERTZ 22 Jan 1971 in St John de Nepomuc Church in Milwaukee. Josepine MAERTZ (b 27 Jun 1854 in Bohemia, d 15 Aug 1900 in Milwaukee, WI) was the daughter of Karl (Carl) MAERTZ and Josephina HAJEK. Joseph and Josephine operated a beer hall on Washington St. in Milwaukee. St. Wenceslaus Church and school were and are located behind the beer hall (today it is a Mexican restaurant and store). The family attended the church and the children went to school at St Wenceslaus.

Joseph and Josephine MAERTZ had the following children: Mary Straka SMRZ, Anna Josephine Straka FRICKE, Jennie C Straka LAWRENSON, Joseph John STRAKA, Agnes Straka TOEPFER, Elizabeth (Ella) Straka MRAZ.

Karl MAERTZ was born 25 Oct 1822, #6 Kout, Bohemia and died 26 Dec 1914, Milwaukee, WI. His parents were George MARZ and Anna KALKANT. He married Josephina HAJEK (HAYEK) 30 Jan 1849 in Kout, Bohemia. He immigrated to the US about 1867. He was a cooper (barrel maker) by trade and his family in Bohemia may have been coopers as well. We also don't know if any of Karl's family immigrated to the US.

Josephina HAJEK was born 29 Sep 1821, #64 Kout, Bohemia and died 24 Jan 1894, Milwaukee, WI Her parents were Joseph H HAJEK and Josepha BERKA (daughter of Joseph BERKA and Margaretha JANCOWZA).

Karl and Joseph had the following children: Anna Maertz KROFTA, Maria MAERTZ, Josef Mathaeus MAERTZ, Josephine Maertz STRAKA, Joanna F. MAERTZ, Vincenz MAERTZ, Vincent C MAERTZ, Theresia MAERTZ, Cathrine Maertz POSHEPNY.

If anyone has a connection or can give me any assistance in learning more about Joseph Straka (or any of the others named in this post) I will be most appreciative. I have much of the census information from the time these families lived in Wisconsin.


SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Roberta Smith... 1197414662000 
genea32 1199399810000 
Roberta Smith... 1199556752000 
GaryRRebholz 1390235746000 
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