Go by the method of elimination and start with the name of Gerstbrich.
Not even the definition "Bohemian" as a language indicator can be
used here, because the Germans and Austrians call the German dialect
spoken in Bohemia "Bohemian", and the Germans of Bohemia refer to a
Czech speaking person as "er spricht boehmisch" (he speaks Bohemian).
And to make it even more difficult, Germans have Czech names, Czech
have German names..... As to the ethnic issue, we need to find the
village where your ancestors came from. The best way to start on this
is to look at old family records, documents and letters. If they are
written in German or Czech, you will have the best clue and watch
where the letter came from, or look for names mentioned in the letter
of places you might remember.
Start with the sur-name.
There is just one Gerstbrich in the Naturalization Records and you can
search more closely here, they may have given his birthplace.
Go to these websites:
Check Ellis Island Records for a Ship list
Check the Ship List
Post information on the Gerstbrich name on all available rootsweb lists.
Sooner or later you will establish a "trail". This is "detective
work" and if you like puzzles you will enjoy this.
On 9/12/09, MiscSearch(a)aol.com <MiscSearch(a)aol.com> wrote:
In a message dated 9/11/2009 10:38:39 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
What this Lexikon reveals is the population majority in figures. This
way we can identify if the village of our ancestors was in the
majority German or Czech. Many descendants do not know if they were
of Czech or German ethnicity. Although this might not be very
important, it is nice to know what language our ancestors were most
likely using. Every language has a "soul" which we can find in their
legends, stories, poetry and music. Therefore, the more languages you
speak, the more you will appreciate the soul of THOSE OTHER people.
It brings people together. Czech and German people have shared and
still share a lot of their heritage .... if only politics had left
My father said that his grandfather was Austrian and his grandmother was
Bohemian. They came to the US from Bohemia (location unknown), but I don't
know where my great-grandfather was born. He's listed on various census
records as from Germany, Austria-Hungary and Moravia. No mention of
although that's where he and his wife came from. When my father was growing
up, the family spoke Bohemian. Is that the same as Czech or a different
dialect? I never heard mention of anyone in the family speaking German.
are people with the same surname (Gerstbrich) in Germany today whose family
came from Bohemia, and there were some in Bratislava and Budapest in the
past. I haven't been able to find a connection yet, but believe they are
probably all related. Maybe it's best to only check the Czech villages at
first, as soon as I find out how. Most of my research has been limited to
census records and passenger lists, nothing much in Europe. I'm trying to
learn German, but the Czech will have to wait. I think it's too much to get
brain and tongue around just now. I'm enjoying the hunt, though, even
though a lot of the time I have no idea what I'm doing. At least I know
than I did when I started, and this list has been a big help. Thanks to
you and all.
German-Bohemian Heritage Society web site http://www.rootsweb.com/~gbhs/
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