|20905||Christopher Bergman, b. 1834, Austria-Hungary, d. 1919 Cherokee County, KS + Anna Barbara Eberle 1862 Ogle County, IL > Louis Phillip Bergman b. 1866 IL, d. 1945 Cherokee, Crawford County, KS + Mary Jane Pender 1886 KS||14||22||15||10||12||14||11||12||12||12||11||29||18||9||9||11||11||22||16||20||27||12||14||14||14||G2|
|34117||Gotfried "Godfrey" "Franz" Bergmann, b. ca. 1831 Austria-Hungary, d. Austria-Hungary + Florentine Lahm > George Bergmann b. 1863 Austria-Hungary, d. 1931 Rural Route # 2, Cherokee, Crawford County, KS + Emelea "Emma" Hiller||14||22||15||10||12||14||11||12||12||12||11||29||18||9||9||11||11||22||16||20||27||12||14||14||14||G2|
The DYS Numbers in red have shown a faster mutation rate than the average, and therefore these markers are very helpful at splitting lineages into subsets, or branches, within a family tree. DYS 19 is also known as DYS 394. A Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) test, which is used to confirm the haplogroup, has been performed on the haplogroups written in bold, red print in the right hand column. It is necessary to do an SNP (commonly called
snip) test for only one individual within a family group in order to determine the haplogroup for everyone in the group.
THE BERGMAN / BERGMANN FAMILY
This report will provide historical details concerning the Bergman / Bergmann family who came from a town currently known as Aš, Czech Republic. This town was founded in the 11th century by German colonists, and is situated in the Elster Mountains in the northwestern area of historic Bohemia, about five miles from the present German border. Because of its long habitation by German-speaking people, one will see the name spelled as Asch on German and English maps. At the close of World War II, the area was given to Czechoslovakia, and the town is now shown as Aš on maps in the Czech Republic. The following information is presented as an historical backdrop for our cousins, and may not be of interest to others.
Kit # 20905: The first known Bergman in our family was Christopher Albert Bergman, born 23 June 1834. He died in 1919 in Cherokee County, KS, at age 85. Fortunately, his obituary listed his hometown as “Asch, Bohman” (meaning Bohemia; in the German language Bohemia is called Böman). With this information we were able to find Asch (now renamed Aš) on a map in the present-day Czech Republic. Aš is located about five miles east of the German border.
Additional family information was provided in a book of biographies entitled “Family Connections,” published in Cherokee County, KS, by William D. Davidson, in 1962. Mr. Davidson obtained his material for the book from personal interviews with people living in Cherokee County. This book states that Christopher Bergman had a nephew, George Bergman, who lived in adjoining Crawford County, KS.
Christopher immigrated to America between 1854-1858, when he was in his early 20's. He told his children that he ran away from Asch (which was at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) to come to America in order to escape conscription into the military. This was a time when revolutions were sweeping that part of Europe, and the Kaiser was raising troops to fight. It also corresponded to local political turmoil in Asch, a massive crop failure, and extensive unemployment among the Asch textile weavers and knitters. Some of the weavers were literally starving to death.
Christopher and a few friends made their way to the seaport, hiding in the woods at night and foraging for food along the way, which according to family legend including stealing chickens and sometimes having to eat them raw.
It is interesting to note that Christopher abbreviated his first name to Christ. His name was pronounced as “Chris,” except it had a “t” on the end of it. Further, he changed both the spelling and pronunciation of his surname. He dropped one “n,” making his surname Bergman (instead of Bergmann), and insisted that the surname be pronounced as Burge-man (with a soft “g”). One branch of the family went so far as to pronounce and spell it as Barge-man. One wonders if Christ’s insistence on a new spelling and a new pronunciation of his surname had anything to do with his desire to hide his identity from those he had escaped.
We do not know where Christopher lived when he first came to America. Perhaps he is the man who was enumerated in 1860 as Christ Bergman, age 28 and born in Germany, who was a laborer in Temperanceville, Allegheny County, PA. This Christ lived in a boarding house with ten other German laborers. The age and name him perfectly, and since he spoke German perhaps the census taker assumed he was from Germany. (Or perhaps he claimed he was from Germany in order to conceal his identity).
In 1862 Christ married Anna “Barbara” Eberle, who had emigrated at age seven from Birkenau, Hessen Darmstadt, Germany. They married in Ogle County, IL, where she lived with her mother and stepfather, and where Christ was working. After a few years, Christ and Barbara made their way to Buffalo County, WI, where by 1870 they had purchased land valued at $1,000, and had personal property valued at $950.
In the summer of 1874, Christ and Barbara took their six children and all their possessions, and boarded a flatboat which floated down the Mississippi River to St. Louis. From St. Louis, they traveled by covered wagon to Cherokee County, KS, where Christ bought land. In addition to farming, he was a veterinary surgeon, and was well known in the county for his ability to treat horses. One of the Bergman family treasures was Christ's veterinary book, which was printed in German.
Kit # 34117: In 1881, two Bergmann relatives from Asch came to Kansas to visit Christ. These men were Gottfried “Godfrey” Bergmann, and his son, Georg “George” Bergmann. According to the 1881 passenger list for the ship “Elbe,” two men on board fit the description of these relatives. The ship's passenger list included Gottfr. Bergman, age 50 (thus born ca. 1831), and Georg, age 18 (thus born 1863), both millers from “Bohemie.” George Bergmann's Kansas death certificate states that he was born 7 March 1863, so it is assumed that he and his father were the ones listed on the Ship Elbe.
It was never Godfrey's intent to stay in the United States. He was simply bringing his son, George (who was baptized Johann Georg), to relatives who would look after him while he made a life for himself in America. Godfrey returned to Asch, where his wife, Florentine Lahm, and at least one other son, Johann Adam Bergmann, lived. George and his children kept in contact with the family of his brother Johann Adam Bergmann in Asch, while Christ's descendants seemingly did not maintain contact with their German relatives. However, recent research has revealed that the Kansas children of Christ and George did become good friends with each other, and some of these cousins lived the remainder of their lives a few miles apart, near Cherokee, KS. Descendants of George Bergmann retained Bergmann as the spelling of their surname.
It should be noted that the Kansas Bergmans believe that Christ and Godfrey were brothers. The German Bergmanns believe that Christ and George were brothers, although there was a 29-year difference between their ages. Christ Bergman's 1919 death certificate, filled out by his son, William A. Bergman, listed the name of Christ's father as John Bergman (he was baptized as Johann Nichol). The name of Christ's mother was not given on the certificate. The Bergmanns now living in Germany say that Godfrey was actually known to them as “Franz” Bergmann.
In 2005 Wallace and Mary Fern Souder were able to make contact with descendants of George Bergmann’s father, Johann Gottfrit “Godfrey” Bergmann, who were still living in Germany, and arranged to stop and see them while on vacation. We received a heartfelt welcome from these elderly Bergmanns and they told us of the trials they had endured during and after World War II, including conscription into the German Army at age 15.
During the 1946 negotiations following World War II, the four Allied Nations (the United States, England, France and the United Soviet Socialist Republic) met in Pottsdam, Germany, to divide Europe into the four zones which they would oversee. Czechoslovakia, including Bohemia, was given to the USSR, and it then later fell into Communist hands.
The German-speaking Hapsburg Empire had oppressed Czechoslovakia for 400 years, and the Czechs took this opportunity to retaliate by expelling nearly all German-speaking people from the country. At the time of the signing of the agreement, the USSR promised that the German-speaking Bohemians would be given equal rights as citizens of the new Czech Republic. However, in 1946 when the ink was barely dry on the document, three million Czechs of German origin (including the Bergmanns) were driven from their homes and force-marched to the western borders.
Our Bergmann cousins in the Asch region were given a few hours, and in one case only ten minutes, to pack. Their homes and all their possessions were confiscated. They had to relinquish their house keys, wristwatches, checkbooks, musical instruments, and photos. Each family was allowed only one suitcase, and it could only include clothing.
George Bergmann's brother, Johann Adam Bergmann, born 1868, had married Matilde Pöpel. In 1946, Johann Adam, age 78 and widowed, had to leave everything behind and relocate with his entire family across the German border. Some lived in Selb, later relocating to Kassell in Hessen, Germany. However, despite the language barrier which became increasingly problematic, some descendants of Johann Adam Bergmann in Germany and his brother, Johann George Bergmann in Kansas, have been able to remain in contact with each other.
In 2005 we also “met online” and then visited Peter Brezina, a Bergmann descendent who is the project leader of the Aš Museum in Rehau, Germany, dedicated to the collection and preservation of as many Aš historical documents and memorabilia as can found worldwide.
A tour of Aš, compliments of Peter Brezina, provided us with a brief study of the records of the old Asch vicinity and revealed that there were Bergmanns residing in the area by the early 1600's. We also learned that despite primitive modes of travel, they had relationships with people at least 25 miles away in the Vogtland region. One of the highlights of the tour was seeing the site of the very old Bergmann mill, which was renowned in the area and where Gottfrit and George Bergmann, both millers in Asch, may have worked. Following are some examples of Bergmann’s in early Asch records:
The earliest document that has been located is a baptism recorded in the Evangelical Church in Schöneck, on July 19, 1609, for Margaretha, daughter of Hans Bergkmann of Schillbach. Margaretha's godparents were Uxor Girg Kuntzen and Katharina, wife or daughter of “old” Rent Joachim, both of Schillbach, and Hans Schindtler of Neubergk, (later spelled Neuberg, presently named Podhradi, and located three miles from Asch).
In 1631, Hans Bergkmann of Asch, son of Ulrich Bergkmann of Niederreuth, married Eva, daughter of Georg Spitzbarth of Asch. This marriage was recorded in “Familienbuch fur Brambach im Vogtland, 1587-1722,” by Patzschke, Reinhold, and Farnetholz. Asch is about six miles from Bad Brambach.
Between 1653 and 1697, there were 31 baptisms of Bergmann infants in the Evangelische Kirchen of Asch and Neuberg.
In 1690, Ludwig Bergmann was listed as a member of the Evangelical church in the village of Neuberg (now renamed Podhradi, and located three miles from Asch).
“The Families of the Asch Region in the Year 1740,” was published in “Sudetendeutsche Familienforschung,” Volume 7, No. 3, 1935, pp. 93-95, 132-134. Fourteen families of the Bergmann surname are listed, and special mention is made of Thomas Bergmann who either owned or lived in one-half of a house.
A list of the families who lived in the Evangelical parishes of Asch, Rossbach, and Neuberg in 1786 was written by Helmut Klaubert, and published by Benno Tins of München-Feldmoching. The forward mentions that the pastor, Dr. theol. Wilhelm Christian Loeber, was married to Charlotte Dorothea Christiane Bergmann. Additionally, there were 19 households headed by persons named Bergmann.
A 1906 Directory of the Inhabitants of Asch listed 16 heads of household named Bergmann, including six named Johann and one named Gottfried, who was a caretaker of a building or house and who lived in or near the castle. The 1906 Directory of the Inhabitants of Neuberg listed eight Burgmann households.
Since the Asch region historically had numerous families named Bergmann, the next logical step in DNA study would be testing other Bergmanns who presently live in that vicinity. However, due to the expulsion of all Bergmanns from Asch (described above) we could not further pursue identifying any prospective Bergmann relatives other than the two who descend from Christopher and George, and who live here in the United States.
Fortunately, an attempt was made by the Tins family to preserve Asch history, and to record the destination of all families of the Asch region who were exiled. “Ascher Anschriftentafel,” published in 1952 by Heraugegeben vom Verlag Ilse Tins, Tirschenreuth/Opf., is an address book listing the locations of families who previously lived in the Asch region. Addresses are provided for 35 Bergmann families. Those hoping to connect our Bergmann family to those in Germany might use this list to begin their research.
In 2006 Wallace and Mary Fern Souder took a trip to Plzen (spelled as Pilsen in German), which is a city in Western Bohemia and is the capitol of the Plzen region in the Czech Republic. All church records from the western region have been removed from local church parishes and are stored in the archives of the Plzen police station. These archives have been recently opened to the public, where they are accessible on microfilm.
At Plzen we discovered that Christopher Albert Bergmann not only changed the spelling and the pronunciation of his surname when he came to the United States. He also changed his given names! Records in the Evangelical Register, Asch 12, Fol. 198, state that he was born on 23 June 1834 and baptized as Johann Christoph Bergmann. Perhaps his brother, Johann Gottfrit Bergmann, born 1829, also changed his name to Franz in order to be more anonymous.
With the fall of the Iron Curtain, the wall that separated Czechoslovakia from Western Europe has been removed, and there are now ardent efforts to restore broken relationships, find missing relatives, and repair the archival infrastructure in Asch, which grew increasingly dilapidated under the 40-year Communist regime.
“Although Western Bohemia was liberated at the end of World War II from Nazi Germany by several of General Patton’s Armored Divisions and Infantry Divisions, after seizing power in 1948, the Communists undertook a systematic campaign to suppress all acknowledgement of the U.S. Army’s role in liberating Western Bohemia. This continued until 1989 when the Communists were removed from power. Since 1990, the capitol city of Plzen has organized an annual Liberation Festival, taking place in May, which has been attended by many American and Allied veterans.” A more complete account of the history of the War and the efforts toward reconciliation may be found at Wikipedia.com.
A non-profit foundation has been formed to preserve Asch history. The official tasks of the Foundation are the preservation and furtherance of the culture and knowledge about the history of the city of Asch and the sub-region (earlier Bezirk Asch; that is, the land circle of Asch in the Sudetenland) up to the expulsion of the German inhabitants after the Second World War. Peter Brezina, a Bergmann descendent, is the project leader. The website for it can be viewed at: Asch Archives
We are deeply indebted for the assistance of cousins Coleen Mafai Defreese, Madeline Gotts Minear, Joe Morgan, Ronald Bergman, Kathleen Laizure Eide, Mary Quartieri Lytle, Dean Bergmann, Emmeline Lytle Polich, Mark Bergmann, Ruby Bergmann Westhoff, Ilse Döerfler Nöll, Birget Nöll Müller, William Louis Bowen, Frances Bowen McFeeters, Paul William Whitfield, Nina Bergman Roberts, Joyce Roberts Helpfrey, Brian Roberts, Peter Brezina, Paul Rogler, and the late Helen Rice Souder. We also greatly appreciate the hospitality of Edgar Pöpel, mayor of Rehau, Germany, the sister city of Asch, and Mikhail Abraham, Minister of Culture, Sports, and Education in Rehau.
The perfect 25-marker match on the Y-chromosome tests of the descendants of Johann Christoph Bergmann (aka Christopher Albert Bergman) and his brother, Johann Gottfrit Bergmann (aka Godfrey Franz Bergmann) was as expected. It is especially interesting that the haplogroup of our Bergman family is G2a, which is uncommon in Western Europe. G2a is believed to have had its origins in India or Pakistan, and moved westward during one of several great migrations. This group spent a considerable amount of time alongside the Bulgar-Turks, before spreading on to Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. Some histories refer to them as a Turkic people. It is also interesting to note that these two participants, other than each other, have no matches in the entire FamilyTreeDNA database.
There have been four transmission events between Christopher Bergman and Participant # 20905. There have been four transmission events between Gotfried Franz Bergmann and Participant # 34117.
Last Updated on 4/3/2013
By Wallace W. Souder