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Immigrants from Bohemia to Monroe County

Immigrants from Bohemia to Monroe County

Posted: 1347164424000
Classification: Immigration
Edited: 1347344178000
Surnames: Jirschele, Eirschele, Arzt, Honl, Tuma, Prochaska, Blazek, Blaskey, Jira, Erie, Herda, Hardy, Tomas, Thomas
Jirschele/Eirschele is not one of my lines, but I have been working in Czech parish registers lately and found the baptism record for Johann Jirschele (John Eirschele Sr.) who settled in Town of Clifton, Monroe County, Wisc., before 1870. He was born in 1834, immigrated to the US in 1853, died in 1906, and burial was at St. Michael's south of Oakdale.

I have been working in the online parish registers from the Czech Republic looking for immigrants to Vernon and adjacent counties in Wisconsin. I grew up near Tomah and have one Czech immigrant line, but am interested in the overall migration of Czechs and Germans from Bohemia to this part of Wisconsin.

Today I learned how to download parish registers from the Zamrsk archive website.

Here is what I could decipher from the record I found for Johann Jirschele:

Baptized 10 Aug 1834 at Rathsdorf [now Skuhrov], Johann Nepom. [Nepomuk is a saint name, not a last name], FATHER: Johann Jirschele [occupation farmer?] (son of the deceased Johann of Rathsdorf No. 6, and of the deceased Josepha daughter of the deceased Joseph Poschl . . . ), MOTHER: Barbara daughter ("tochter") of Joseph Pirkl [occupation farmer?] of [place name starting with Na__] No. 19, and of Sophia daughter of Franz Jansa [occupation starting with "h"] of Gross Ritte [now Hylvaty] No. 26.

Note: Rathsdorf is now Skuhrov in Usti nad Orlici district, Pardubicky region, Czech Republic.

I am interested in connecting with others who are researching ethnic Czech or German immigrants from what was called Bohemia, now Czech Republic, to Monroe County particularly the southeast part (Oakdale, Clifton, Glendale, Welllington, and Wilton). Names also inlcude Arzt, Honl, Tuma, Erie/Jira, Blazek, Blaskey, Prochaska, Adamec, Herda/Hardy, Kolowrat.

Re: Johann Jirschele/Eirschele - 1834 baptism record

Posted: 1347245241000
Classification: Query
Thanks for your informative post about Bohemia/Czech Republic immigrants. I am looking for information about a John Thomas family who settled in Ridgeville Township, from Bohemia.

I realize Ridgeville Township is not in your area of focus, but I am hoping to learn something about this family.

John, 56 & his wife, Celia, 58, lived in Ridgeville Township in 1870, where they farmed. They had son, John (Jr.) age 24 & Annah, age 16.

About 1874 John Jr. married Mary Domagala, my paternal great aunt. They had a daughter Rosa Thomas, baptized (Catholic) early in 1875 or late in 1874. John Jr. died of pneumonia when Rosa was 9 months old.

Could you tell me anything about what the "Thomas" name might be -- would it be "Thomas" or might it be "Tuma" as mentioned in your list of surnames?

John Jr's wife Mary has a maternal aunt & youngest sister named "Nepomucena" at baptism -- after St. John of Nepomuk (or Nepomucene).

So it seems the Poles are not the only ones to hold St. John of Nepomuk in high esteem (re: Johann Nepom Jirschle/Eirschle).

I have family in Tomah area. Recognize the name "Honl" (or Honel) from family conversations of old.

Any insights or help you can offer is appreciated. Thank you for your time.


Bohemians in Ridgeville in 1870

Posted: 1347255870000
Classification: Immigration
Edited: 1347287142000
Surnames: Tomas, Thomas, Novotny, Nechuta
Thanks for your message. I had not taken notice of the Thomas family in Ridgeville, Monroe Co., Wisc., before, but they definitely belong on my list of immigrants from Bohemia and Moravia. I find that in the 1860 census they were in Caledonia, Racine County, Wisc. Novotny and Nechuta families also came to Ridgeville from Caledonia in the 1860s. I had found the ship arrival list for the Novotny family before. On checking now, I see that the Thomas family was recorded immediately below the Novotny family in the arrival list. The thumbnail image below links to a larger, but not huge, image of the passenger list page. Starting on line 15, the Thomas family was recorded as: Jan Tomas, Caecilei Tomas, Catharina Tomas, and Johann Tomas. (Anna was born later in US.) They arrived 8 Dec 1852 on Ship Elise at New York (it would have been at Castle Garden immigrant station in Battery Park -- Ellis Island did not open until 1890s). Interesting that the father got the Czech spelling of John ("Jan") and junior got the German spelling ("Johann"). Will need more of clue on local origins in Bohemia before I could search for them in the parish registers (no comprehensive national or even regional indexes, just parish by parish, page by page, which could take a lifetime to search for common names like Novotny and Tomas). I will keep an eye out for more information on them and let you know by posting here. Do you know when/where John Thomas Sr. and Cecelia died? Also, do you know origin of the Domagala name?

Re: Bohemians in Ridgeville in 1870

Posted: 1347287685000
Classification: Query
Thank you for your help!!! I will research your questions this week or as soon as I can. Just returned from a Gnat/Domagala/Kruk reunion & updating, researching info from that.

I will check on John Thomas & Cecelia ASAP. They likely are buried at St. John the Baptist Summit Ridge or Nativity of the BVM St. Mary's Ridge, but no guarantees.

Your help with this Thomas name is a tremendous breakthrough -- especially with a given name "John." Too much chaff to sift through in my searches. They are some of the earliest arrivals to Monroe County/USA on my tree -- thus far. Just dipped the toe in the pond on this whole crazy hunt.

Thanks again & I will get back to you soonest with answers to your questions.

Domagala we believe to be Polish; Suchoreczek, Szubin, Poznan, Poland; also Slupy, Dziewierzewo, two other towns in the Szubin district of Poznan. (Polish pronunciation of surname "DOME a gow ee.") These towns are sites of marriages or baptisms, so not necessarily birthplaces, but likely in vicinity.

Also thank you for Catharina, I don't believe I had information of her previous to your post.

Appreciate your research & time!

Re: Bohemians in Ridgeville in 1870

Posted: 1347301581000
Classification: Query
Sorry, I am unable to access the attachment. is my email.

Thank you,

Re: Bohemians in Ridgeville in 1870

Posted: 1347330237000
Classification: Query
I opened the link. Thanks again!

Re: Bohemians in Ridgeville in 1870

Posted: 1347336258000
Classification: Immigration
Surnames: Neas
Regarding Domagala, I have an immigrant line from Kreis Schubin to Monroe County, too -- the Neass / Neas family settled in Town of Adrian (Ridgeville-adjacent) in the the 1870s. I believe they were from Mieczkowo (Mizcowo) west of Bygdoszcz and northwest of Szubin.

I'll post more on the Tomas family from Bohemia in another reply post.

John Thomas (Jan Tomas) immigration in 1852 from "Chotzen, Bohemia" via Hamburg

Posted: 1347337733000
Classification: Immigration
Edited: 1347372373000
Surnames: Tomas, Thomas
I found John Thomas of Ridgeville in an 1852 head of family index of Hamburg, Germany, ship departure lists (copy attached). It gives his origin in Bohemia as Chotzen. That's a German spelling of Chocen, near Vysoke Myto, about 90 miles east of Prague in the Usti nad Orlici district of the Pardubicky region (see attached map). Many of the first Czech immigrants starting about 1850 came from this region. It's fortunate that the emigrant departure lists from Hamburg survived and that Jan Tomas departed from there instead of Bremen (Bremen departure records were destroyed in WWII bombing raids).

On checking the Chocen parish registers, I find daughter Katerina Tomas, born 16 Aug 1839, to father Jan Tomas (son of Jan Tomas and Anna Plecharzh [aka, "Plechash" in Americanized spelling]) and mother Cecilie (daughter of Frantisek Houdek and Cecilie Koutnik). It's the second record on this page from the free site:

The writing is in an old script known as Kurrent which has some big differences from standard English cursive writing (letters b, d, e, n, r, and s are especially hard to decipher without some training and practice).

Jan Tomas and Cecilie Houdek were married 23 Oct 1838 at Chocen, see first record on page at:

Their son Jan Tomas (John Thomas Jr.) was born 6 Nov 1845 at Chocen (source: Zamrsk regional archive website "Matriky" books, image filename 2103_00074.jpg -- not attached).

Re: John Thomas (Jan Tomas) immigration in 1852 from "Chotzen, Bohemia" via Hamburg

Posted: 1347376492000
Classification: Query
Thank you Richard! This is a little like Christmas in September!

I have not dabbled in foreign language records, fortunately most I have encountered from Poland (baptisms, marriages) were either translated, or in Latin. Not my language, either, but able to decipher what was needed.

Thank you for connecting the Thomas family to their hometown; it is a tremendous help to find a spot on a map & see how far they traveled, then how they connected when in America.

Now I am wondering what language the Thomas family would have spoken -- if they would have had enough German to converse with others? I ask because John Jr's future wife Mary traveled with [her aunt] a woman from Poland whose husband (already in U.S.) was known to speak Polish & German -- he professes German, not Polish, ancestry.

I wonder if the marriage was acceptable because both Mary & John Thomas Jr. spoke German? Her parents did not arrive in U.S. until after her marriage. (The aunt witnessed marriage.)

Thank you again for the time & research you have put into this line. I have another Bohemian name in my tree, Tiber, but at present do not have access to further information about their immigration, etc.

I am so pleased to know John & Catharina's maternal grandparents' names & paternal grandparents' names.

As we continue to research our Domagala roots I will stay in touch via this board. We are hopping to get through any possible American records so that we can hire a Polish researcher who has done some work for a distant cousin on this branch. I had not been familiar with the Neas name.
Did they come directly to Wisconsin or travel through Chicago? We know that some of our great, great uncles stayed in Chicago (Kruk not Domagala). Two came to Monroe County & one returned to Chicago.

Again, many thanks. I will look through my church records to see if I have information about where John Thomas Sr. & Cecelia died. I know that John Thomas Jr. died of pneumonia from a letter written recounting family history in South Dakota. It's a tangled tale.

Many thanks, Richard!

Re: John Thomas (Jan Tomas) immigration in 1852 from "Chotzen, Bohemia" via Hamburg

Posted: 1347416112000
Classification: Immigration
Surnames: Tomas, Thomas
I am glad to have helped and I am very glad that you responded to my message, Nancy -- it got me on a track to learning more about some of the earliest immigrants who came to Wisconsin from Bohemia and made it to Monroe County.

Please let me know if you find death and burial places for the four in the Thomas family.

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