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Monthly Archives: August 2011

History Pop Quiz! What and where is Boehem?

Joseph Bergmann’s Tombstone

Adalbertha Bergmann and her family came from Boehem. Boehem is German for Bohemia which was located in central Europe and is now in the Czech Republic. Boehem was part of the Holy Roman Empire and by 1526 became part of the Habsburg’s Austrian Empire. That is why the Bergmann family, sometimes, is listed as coming from Austria rather than Boehem.

For centuries, there was religious unrest between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants. In 1618, the Protestants revolted against the Habsburg rule and lost. In 1620, the Roman Catholics defeated the Protestants. Following the defeat, the Habsburg rule of Bohemia became stricter. Bohemia was no longer a kingdom, Protestantism and Czech nationalism was suppressed, Roman Catholic was the national religion and many families became serfs to the wealthy land holders. German became the national language and was taught in all schools. Czech was spoken mainly in the rural areas. Aha, that’s how the Joseph Bergmann family knew German! I wonder if they also spoke Czech.

In 1848, the Czechs in Bohemia and Moravia (a neighboring country) revolted. Even though the Czechs failed in their revolt, the serf system was abolished and this caused the middle class to rise.

Five years after the 1848 revolt, Joseph Bergmann of Reichenberg, Boehem (now Liberec, CZ), his wife, Theresia, and five children relocate to Texas. Joseph was 53 years old. They arrived in Galveston on 12 June 1853 and headed for the Texas Hill Country.

“Bohemia.” Encyclopdeia Britiannica. Web. 29 August 1011. http://www.britannica.com.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2011 in Bergmann

 

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How do you spell Adalbertha?

Signature of Adalbertha Adam

 I am guilty. This is a personal issue for me. My name is Kathryn not  Katherine. My last name was Adam not Adams. I have a very basic name but it is always misspelled. As a result, I have always tried to spell other people’s name correctly.

My great-great grandmother was born in 1836 in Boehem (Czech Republic). Her parents named her Adalbertha. I had never before or since heard of anyone with this name so I decided to find out more about it. Adalbertha is the feminine form of Adalbert. Adalbert or Adelbert is an old Germanic name that has been around for over a 1000 years. In fact the first Adalbert of any importance was St. Adalbert of Prague. He is the patron saint of Bohemia, Poland and Prussia. Adalbert, which means noble and bright, was from a wealthy family but decided to become a priest. He was very zealous about converting heathens to Christianity. In 977, he went on a missionary trip to Prussia. It seems he was cutting down some sacred oaks. They asked him to stop. He didn’t, so they stopped him.

When I first started gathering information about the Adam Family I went to the cemetery and started copying down the information from the tombstones. I thought all the information would be correct. On Adalbertha’s stone her name is spelled Adelbertha Adams. (I should have clued in on the Adams.) I happily began spelling her name Adelbertha. I found other spellings, Adalberthe on her marriage certificate, Adebertha on the 1870 Kendall County Census, and Adallberthe on her death certificate and then in her own handwriting on her will in 1895 Adalbertha Adam. Adalbertha, Adelbertha, Kathryn, Katherine are all correct spellings, but how did she spell her name? Adalbertha Adam. I am sooo guilty…

St. Adalbert.” Catholic Encyclopedia. Web. 29 August 2011. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01127c.htm.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in Adam

 

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A Blessed Union: Conrad and Adalbertha Bergmann Adam

Conrad Adam Family

Conrad and Adalbertha had seven children with six living to adulthood.

  • Kathinka born 7 September 1857 married Paul. J. F. Toepperwein
  • Therese born 20 August 1859 married Frederick Voges
  • Emilie born 27 April 1862 married William Schoenert
  • Julius Conrad born 15 March 1864 married Ida Haufler
  • Bertha born 8 July 1865 married Hilmar G. Froebel (1) Haby (2)
  • Emma born 11 September 1867 married Christian Herms
  • Amalie born in 1869 lived for 7 days or a few years; the stories vary

I don’t think Amalie had a tombstone but there was a small cemetery within walking distance of the house. When my father was a young boy he was told there was a baby buried in the cemetery. They did not purchase the land until 1874, so I am not sure Amalie is buried there.

Don’t you just love this picture?  I wish it was clearer but you can still see Julius next to his sister Kathinka. He doesn’t look too happy. Conrad and Adalbertha are in the middle and Therese is holding Emilie. I am guessing Bertha and Emma were too small and would not hold still for the picture.

 
 

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Oh Grasshopper!

The weather has been on everyone’s mind lately because of  the 45 days of 100 degree temperatures and no rain in sight. I decided to look  at some newspaper articles from the 1800s to see what was happening with the weather  in Central Texas.  In 1884-1886 Texas was suffering from a severe drought. It was reported from Galveston, Texas to the Daily Inter Ocean newspaper in Chicago in early 1887 that “The fields are barren even of weeds, while strings of cattle almost too poor to stand up are traveling constantly in search of grass and water.” Boy, does that sound familiar.

Did you know that grasshopper plagues are also associated with droughts? I didn’t. Maybe Texas was in another drought in 1867. George Wilkins Kendall, a correspondent for the New Orleans Picayune, reported on November 21, 1867 in the Patriot newspaper in Harrisburg, PA, “In ten minutes time, from their first advent, the ground as I have already said was literally alive with them, in some places nearly over the shoes, and an onslaught upon okra, butterbeans, tomatoes and potato vines as well as many kinds of weeds was at once commenced.”   It lasted twenty four hours and they traveled south to north.  I would think it would be noisy and with no screens on the windows they would have been all over the house. Ewww! He also said, “they went through my wheat field faster than M’Cormicks.”  I don’t even want to imagine what it must feel like to have your food source eaten by a bunch of grasshoppers.

Conrad and the settlers of Kendall County would have experienced both of these events. Anybody have a drought story to share?

“Another Storm of Grasshoppers.” Patriot, Harrisburg, PA, 21 November 1867. Print.

“Texas Drought a week of Expectancy and Disappointment Throughout the State.” Daily Inter Ocean, Chicago,

IL, 11 April 1887. Print.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Kendall County

 

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Excerpt from Letter written by Bertha Adam Froebel Haby

Bertha Adam Froebel

I thought it would be really easy to come up with a title for this blog, but it wasn’t. Every name I came up with had already been taken or just didn’t sound right and then I remembered a letter written in 1927 by Bertha Adam Froebel Haby, one of Conrad’s daughters, to her grandson Guenther Froebel. In the letter she wrote about her father, one thing she said about him was, “My father was a great story teller when I was a child and I can remember many of his stories…”  and Conrad’s Stories was born!!

There is a copy of the letter on file at the Family History Center, Boerne, TX. The original is owned by the Froebel family.

Do you know any of his stories or stories about other settlers in the Kendall County area?  Just click on comment and tell your story!
 
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Posted by on August 20, 2011 in Adam, Froebel

 

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New Beginnings for Conrad Adam

Conrad Adam

1854 was a new beginning for Conrad Adam. This is the year he made a life changing decision to move from Tiefenbach, Prussia to Boerne, Texas. Boerne is nestled in the hills of the Texas Hill Country much the same as his home village of Tiefenbach. He was 26 years old and traveled with his younger brother  Carl. They arrived in Galveston on 20 November 1854.

A 157 years later, as I sit in my air conditioned home with all the gadgets that make my life much easier than his,  I just can’t imagine getting on a small wooden ship and heading to a relatively unknown place.  What an adventure it must have been!

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2011 in Adam, Kendall County, Texas

 

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