Wenzel’s parents were both born in Furstenhut but his mother, Juliana Graf, had Bavarian roots as well. Wenzel’s maternal grandmother, Juliana Hackl, was born in Finsterau, a village located in the Bavarian Forest across the border from Furstenhut. Some of the parish records in the Czech archives cover villages near the border so I was able to research these Bavarian ancestors as well. Meet the Grafs…

Johann Graf was born in Furstenhut, Bohemia on May 27, 1784 to Jacob Graf and Waldburga Gibis (I’ve seen some unusual names throughout my research but Waldburga…that was a new one). Julianna Hackl was born in Finsterau, Bavaria on November 19, 1786 to Jakub Hackl and Barbora Lang. Johann Graf and Julianna Hackl married in Furstenhut on July 29, 1811. After they married, Johann worked as a lumberjack and he and Juliana had at least 8 children, including daughter, Juliana. Johann died of tuberculosis at the age of 74 in Furstenhut on October 1, 1858. Juliana’s date of death is unknown.

Juliana Graf was born in Furstenhut, Bohemia on August 27, 1817 to Johann Graf and Juliana Hackl. When Juliana was 27, she married Josef Pribil on October 21, 1844 and they had 9 children, including the youngest, Wenzel. Juliana had been a widow for several years when she died at age 73 of hydrothorax (fluid/congestion of lungs) on February 16, 1891.

Wenzel Pribil was born on September 28, 1862 in Furstenhut, Bohemia to Josef Pribil and Juliana Graf. He was 27 and working as a lumberjack when he married Maria Peter on January 7, 1890. Wenzel’s mother died the following year and, with both parents gone, he and wife, Maria (Mary), left Bohemia for the United States with their son, Isidore. According to city directories, they lived in Minneapolis in 1892 but by 1893 had settled in St. Paul. In 1894, they were listed as living at 440 Lafond with the addition of daughter, Anna, and Wenzel worked as a tinner. In the U.S. Census for 1900, Wenzel lived at 440 Lafond with his wife, Mary, mother-in-law, Theresa Peter, and children Isidore (Isidore Francis who was called I.F. for short), Anna, Louis, William, Mary, and Theresa. This brings me to a photograph of the family from around that time. My grandma had the wonderful habit of writing information on the back of photos – names, dates, locations, etc. This has been very helpful for me in my research. She had one family portrait of her grandparents, Wenzel and Mary, which included her great-grandmother, Mary’s mom, Theresa Peter. Also pictured were Wenzel and Mary’s six oldest children. And my grandmother conveniently labeled this photograph as well…on the front of it! She even used the pen to add pupils to Mary’s eyes…

Wenzel Pribil family
Wenzel Pribil with his wife, Mary, mother-in-law, Theresa Peter, and children…well, you can see who is who…this was taken in 1901.

In 1905, the family was still on Lafond with the addition of son, Frank (born 1903), and Wenzel was working as a lighter for Patterson Street Light Company. In the 1910 census, the family included Wenzel, Mary, Isidore, 20, Anna, 17, Louis, 16, William, 14, Mary, 12, Theresa, 9, Frank, 7, Rose, 4, and Julia, 2. Daughter, Emma, their last child, was born in November of that year. By that time, Wenzel had become a meter reader for St. Paul Gas Company. The family moved to 885 Edmund around 1914 and Wenzel lived there with his family until his death on September 12, 1916 at the age of 51. The cause of death was pulmonary tuberculosis and he was buried at Calvary Cemetery in St. Paul.

State of Minnesota Death certificate for Wenzel Pribil, September 12, 1916, Minnesota Historical Society





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