Maria Hilf Church Zelezna Ruda

Tracings by SAM...

Discovering our Past

To our children we should give two things: one is roots, the other is wings.
--  Author Unknown

A Registered One-Place Study







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Who are the

To learn more about the people, the culture, and the history of the German-Bohemians,
visit the German-Bohemian Heritage Society Website.

Whether you are an armchair traveler, or are planning a trip to the border towns of Bayerisch Eisenstein and Markt Eisenstein (ŽeleznŠ Ruda), you may be interested in checking out these links:

Bayerisch Eisenstein

Bavarian Forest Holidays

Outdoor Museums in the Bavarian-Bohemian Borderland

Mural of Markt Eisenstein from Blenker WI

The above image was part of a large mural of Markt Eisenstein and the surrounding forest. The photo was contributed by S. Bornbach who stated that the mural was painted on a wall in an upstairs room of an old building in Blenker, WI. It was painted around 1900 by a Catholic priest who had come to northern Wisconsin from Markt Eisenstein. The building has since been demolished. The mural is no more.

Woodcutters, Bohemian Forest
c. 1890

Zelezna Ruda 1998

A webpage dedicated to the
nineteenth-century German-Bohemian villagers who
emigrated from Markt Eisenstein to northern Wisconsin

A List of Nineteenth-Century Emigrants
from Markt Eisenstein, Bohemia to Northern Wisconsin

(Please contact me if there are any additions or corrections to be made to this list.)

Markt Eisenstein, Bohemia (now ŽeleznŠ Ruda, Czech Republic) is set in a pretty valley in the Bohemian Woods at the edge of the Šumava National Park. This is located in the southwestern Bohemian region of the Czech Republic on the German/Czech border. Originally, this was the border between Bavaria and Bohemia.

In the late seventeenth century, German families were settled in this area by the Bavarians in order to deter incursions from the Bohemians. In the second half of the nineteenth century, Central Europe experienced significant political instability and deteriorating economic conditions. More than one hundred and seventy-five individuals emigrated from the village of Markt Eisenstein and the surrounding area to northern Wisconsin in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
Many of these were descendants of the first ethnic Germans to settle in Markt Eisenstein in the late 1600s.

Eisenstrass (now known as Hojsova Straz) was a small village located about 8 km. north of the town of Zelezna Ruda, in the Šumava forest. A number of emigrants from this community also settled in northern Wisconsin in the late 19th century.

History of the town of Markt Eisenstein, Bohemia
(now ŽeleznŠ Ruda, Czech Republic)

Markt Eisenstein, Historic Bavarian-Bohemian Border Village

Following the Glass Road to the Eisenstein Villages

The Maria Hilf Church in Markt Eisenstein, Bohemia

Bayerisch Eisenstein's Historic Train Station

Totenbretter (Death Boards) -- An Old Tradition in the Bavarian-Bohemian Borderlands

Aschenbrenner Family Expelled from the Sudetenland after WWII
Family in America: A Beacon of Hope

Click here to learn more about the Sudeten Germans.

Resources for research on those who came from Markt Eisenstein, Bohemia
The Porta fontium Website
Digitized church records from the Pilsen archives, including those from
ŽeleznŠ Ruda (formerly Markt Eisenstein) and Hojsova Straz (formerly Eisenstrass) are now available online at this website. The website is in the German and Czech languages only.

Please be advised that I am not able to do look-ups in these online archives for individuals looking for the records of their ancestors. The records are in German script. 
With a little practice, you may be able to make out names and dates. Someone at the German-Bohemian Heritage Society in New Ulm, Minnesota (or someone on their mailing list) may be able to help translate the rest of the record.

Czech Genealogy for Beginners
provides instructions in English on using the Porta fontium Website.

Church Records of Markt Eisenstein, Bohemia
Church records (baptisms, marriages and deaths) are available for Markt Eisenstein and the nearby villages of Bayerisch Eisenstein, Dorf Eisenstein, Pancir, and Deffrnick from 1694-1810 and are found in the following book: Hšupler, Hans-Joachim. Die Personenstandsmatrikel Des Catholishen Pharramtes Markt Eisenstein 1694-1810, (Parish Records for the Catholic Church of Markt Eisenstein 1694-1810) Sauerlach, Oktober, 1990.
Hšupler typed the church records into an easy-to-read format; one doesn't have to try to decipher German script.

Eisensteiners who settled in the Wisconsin Northwoods
Georg and Monika (Bredl) Aschenbrener: Check here for their stories and the stories of their ancestors and their descendants, plus the origins of the Aschenbrenner surname.

The BŲhmisch Eisensteiners, Part I: An Introduction to the German-Bohemian Eisensteiners
and Part II: The Hilgart Families in the BŲhmisch Eisenstein. These stories, written by Ray Hilgart, have been published by the German-Bohemian Heritage Society in the Heimatbrief Newsletter, June 2007 and the Heimatbrief Newsletter, March 2008 respectively. These newsletters are available to members of the society.

Mystery couples in the photo album of Monika Bredl Aschenbrenner  These photos appear to be taken between 1870 and 1900. They are most likely other family members from Markt Eisenstein, Bohemia. They may be other Eisensteiners who settled in northern Wisconsin or they may have been taken in Bohemia. Please contact me if you can identify any of the couples.

Tombstone Photos, St Killians Catholic Cemetery, Town of Milladore, Wisconsin; US GenWeb Archives Project, Wisconsin. Included are photos of the tombstones of a number of emigrants from Markt Eisenstein to Milladore in the nineteenth century.

A Scrapbook History of Laona, Wisconsin and the surrounding area
According to one descendant, many of the Eisensteiners who settled in Auburndale, Wisconsin first found work at the Connor Lumber and Land Company Mill in Laona. A bit of their history is told here.

More material will be added in the future.  Please return.

Updated November 2017

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