Topic: GBHS Newsletter
Reply to: Bob Liebl liebl(a)execpc.com
>I was facinated by your stories in this edition. Not only did you
on one of the stories but two. I was wondering if you had anymore
about these people.
The articles I wrote were basically translations of articles in the
Bishofteinetz Heimatbuch and similar sources. I don't always pay attention
to the names and places that pop up when translating such things. I
noticing the Liebl because it was familiar, but it was in my article only
because it was in the original German article in the Heimatbuch. I have no
further research on the name.
I think the name also appears in the "Tax Rolls of l654" book that Bob
Paulson reprints when there are orders for it. I don't know where I
put my copy at the moment or would look it up for you.
>My great grandfather Johann Nepomuk Liebl was born on Jan 21, 1840
Hammerschleif, Schmolau, Bohemia. It is near Heiligen Kreutz. He had an
interesting life as a blacksmith and the town burgermeister. He was also in
the 35th Inf. Reg.
My great grandfather, George Grosam was born in July 1840 in Mariafels
and was also most likely a blacksmith because there was a forge in their
barn at St. George. His uncle was the district "Ortsamtmann." Sort of
like a chief magistrate or burgermeister, too. And Georg was in the
35th starting 1860. But he served through two wars and did not get out
The similarities in their lives is fascinating.
There is a possibility that your ggdad was literate if he was elected
Burgermeister. That is a real plus for the period -- few boys went to
school past the time it took to learn to count their money, figure their
taxes, and write their names. Many did not even learn that if the
nearest school was more than a few kilometers away.
>I have been trying to find out more about his service record and
to find the correct archive.
Would you mind sending me copies of the papers that you have? Are you
sure it is only "discharge papers" and not his "Grundbuchblatter?"
ggdad's discharge was noted on his "Grundbuchblatter" which has very
general information about when and where he served. To know more you have to
know where the regiment was stationed at the time he was in it and
assume that whatever the regiment did, he did it with them.
As far as I can tell from the regimental history (some of it will be in
the next newsletter) they were stationed in Debrecen, Hungary in 1860.
Our ggdads would have gone (marched) first to Pilsen where they would have
outfitted and assembled w/other recruits and then they would have set out
for Debrecen to join the regiment. I don't know if they got any basic
training before leaving Pilsen. If there were no trains available
(Pilsen may have been RR-connected to Prague by 1860) they would have to
march the distance. That could take as much as three months and several
pairs of boots! If trains were available they ended about 40 miles from
Debrecen and they had to march that last distance.
> He only served a few months and I was wondering why. My dad
he was very proud of his service
Being in the army was a sort of "rite of passage" for young men. It
separated them for those who were still "working for dad" and confirmed
the fact that they were now "MEN!" There was no other way to confirm
that fact in Sudeten society and until a man took a wife he was in a
sort of "limbo" between being a boy and a man. Of course, they were
more or less eager for this "opportunity" depending on whether there was
a war going on.
In general the Bohemian peasants had a real affection for the Kaiser --
the nearest thing to patriotism at the time -- and served more or less
>>I have his discharge papers. On the papers it says that he
was drafted on
27 Nov 1860 for 8 years but he was discharged 5 June 1861. The
I think the commander mentioned was either a batallion or company
commander, not the regimental commander. His name will help you
identify the batallion and company he was in.
As for the reason he was discharged early, there are many possibilities.
The principal one is that the Austrian army was strapped for
money and often "furloughed without pay" (discharged) new recruits after only
18 months to 2 years of training for economic reasons. These men were called
"furlough men" and they were technically still in the army (not subject to
civil authority -- which many used to their advantage) until the full 8 years
of service passed. They were subject to recall at any time that the army
needed them. Most of them simply returned to their homes and lived life
as before. Some took the opportunity to disappear. Others gathered in
cities in unruly gangs that constantly harrassed police who could not
lay a finger on them.
If your ggdad was not recalled when there was a war in Denmark in 1864
or in eastern Bohemia in 1866 then I suspect he was discharged for some
other reason. He may have been sick or failed to pass physical tests.
Sickness was a serious problem in Austrian barracks until about 1870
when new facilities were built. Typhus, Cholera, Asthma, Dysentery,
Tuberculosis and other epidemic diseases would thrive in the crowded and
unsanitary conditions found in older garrisons. Men who lived in quiet
rural districts with little polution and little exposure to outside
"germs" may have looked robust but they did not have the acquired
immunity that a scrawny city-dweller had. They were the first to suffer
and they suffered the worst effects if any disease showed up in their
barracks. Some had to be discharged because of debilitating effects of
sickness. One of the most common causes that was not an infectious
disease was Asthma. It made it impossible for a soldier to make the
long marches with heavy pack that army life required. If your ggdad had
Asthma, there is a very good chance that was the reason he was
He may have had something else...like bad feet that prevented him from
marching. Or bad vision that prevented him from aiming well (although
there was little practice in that anyway).
All military records are kept at the Kriegsarchiv (war archive) in Vienna.
There are lots were filmed by the LDS and they include muster lists
and monthly reports and casualty/sick lists. You may find out more if you
through the records called "Standestabelle" for 1860 -61 for IR 35. Those
monthly reports. With the commander's name you should be able to find the
right pages/batallion and if your ggdad was sick it may be reported there --
the reports contain comments about every soldier who is assigned away from
the rest of the unit -- including those who are in hospital. I will be
giving a talk about using the LDS military records films in October in Mpls.
(Radisson Hotel). The files are massive and finding the right film may take
>Secondly- The Glassblower story. My dad's other grandfather
was forman of the Friedrichshutten Glassworks also. At least that is
stories say. I think that he would have worked there about 1880-1892. In 92
he came to the US and ended up in Grand Forks, ND only to die there a few
months later. He his buried here in Milwaukee.
I didn't know there was a glass industry in Grand Forks. A lot of
glassblowers ended up in PA and Ohio where there was a substantial glass
>I had traveled to meet the cousins in GF a few years ago and found
was a statue of the Blessed Virgin that he had blown up there.
Who are the cousins descended from if he died so soon after getting
there? If his family stayed in GF why was he buried in Milwaukee?
>The border town where he worked in Bohemia is gone now. Well agian
have any info about the factory or my great grandfather I would be most
The only info I have is what I found in the Heimatbuch. However the
German who wrote the article for the book might still be living and
maybe you could get in touch with him. Also, you might look for books
on Bohemian glass making. But you may be out of luck if you don't read
If you have a family chart you should send it to Paula Goblirsch for the
GBHS family database.