History Pop Quiz! What and where is Boehem?

30 Aug

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.


Posted by on August 30, 2011 in Bergmann


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4 responses to “History Pop Quiz! What and where is Boehem?

  1. Theresa Casteel

    September 3, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Our Vleck ancestor came from Bohemia – maybe sometime I will locate their hometown!
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

    • Kathryn

      September 4, 2011 at 1:44 am

      I hope you do find it! Joseph helped me by having it recorded on the passenger list, his naturalization papers, and his tombstone. Although, I haven’t had much luck in the Czech Republic. It seems there were several Joseph Bergmanns living in the same area that have birthdays that are close to the one recorded on his tombstone. We get just enough to keep us going!

  2. Christy Reid

    September 15, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I have used Google Earth to search for both Joseph and Theresia’s birthplaces and they recognize them as in Germany now. I know borders were fluid in the past, but maybe German records would be a place for searching. Just a thought….

    • Kathryn

      September 17, 2011 at 2:05 am

      That’s a good idea! The more options we have the better!


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