The History of 8 Families

The Lucash Family History

from c. 1763 on

The Lucash family came from Prague, Bohemia, Hapsburg-Austrian Empire. This family emigrated to New Orleans in December of 1853 and then settled in the town of Freeburg, St. Clair Co., Illinois, USA.

The earliest known member of the Lucash family is Johann Georg Lucash, c. 1763--, born in the village of Manetin which is now part of Prague, Hapsburg-Austrian Empire.

There is a Lucash connection to a family named Wottowa. Joseph most likely had a sister by the name of Maria or Mary Lucash, 1829--. That connection may begin back in Bohemia as a Mary Lucash, 1829-->1861, married John W. Wottowa, 1818-->1861, in the town of Kestron or Restron, Austria. They were most likely married between the years 1847 and 1854. This Wottowa family immigrated to America in 1954 on the "Sir Robert Peel", the same ship as the Lucash family used to come to America. They settled in Turkey Hill, Ill. The names of their parents are at this time unknown.

Joseph Lucash married twice. The name of Joseph's first wife is unknown. He would have married first around 1833. The name of Joseph Lucash's second wife was Elizabeth Cross? (Chris), 1820--1904. Joseph married Elizabeth around 1847. The name of Cross comes from the church records at St. Peter's in Belleville, IL. It was written in Latin script and was difficult to spell.

Joseph Ignatz Lucash, 1793--1868. The cemetery records at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Freeburg, Ill. state that Joseph was born on May 15, 1804 and died on September 1, 1868, in Freeburg, Ill. All known documents state that he was from Prague, Bohemia, the Hapsburg-Austrian Empire. The name Lucash means archer in Czech. According to verbal family history, Joseph Lucash was a horse trader not a farmer.

Bohemia was part of the Hapsburg-Austrian Empire until the end of WW I, long after Joseph Ignatz Lucash had emigrated.

Joseph Ignatz Lucash's second wife, Elizabeth Cross was born on Sunday, November 19, 1820. Elizabeth died in Freeburg on November 11, 1904. The Freeburg Cemetery records state that Elizabeth was born on November 19, 1820 and died on November 28, 1904.

The name of Joseph Lucash's first wife is unknown. Most likely, she would have been born before 1813, married c.1833, and died between 1843 and 1847. Joseph had three children by that first marriage, Hanna, Barbara and John Lucash. The remaining Lucash children would have been from Joseph's second marriage to Elizabeth Cross.

Traveling from the Hapsburg-Austrian Empire to America, never having seen the ocean could be quite a thrill for our Lucash ancestors.

The Lucash family immigrated to the United States in 1854. Joseph Ignatz Lucash was about 61 years old at the time. The family left the German seaport of Bremen on December 10, 1853, on the ship Sir Robert Peel. They had a second class cabin on deck and took two trunks of clothing on the trip. The trip took 47 days to cross the ocean to New Orleans from Bremen, Germany. The ship Sir Robert Peel was built in 1852 operating under the colors of R. M. Slomann Co. of Hamberg, Germany.

The ship, Sir Robert Peel was 158 ft. long, and 36 ft. wide. It was built in New York in 1846. The Captain was J. C. Wienholtz. The ship carried 295 passengers on that voyage. The ship was a little longer than half the size of a football field.

Bremen is 60 miles from the North Sea. It had to be extremely cold in the North Atlantic when the Lucash family sailed in December of 1853. The Lucash family landed in New Orleans, La. on Jan. 26, 1854. They listed St. Louis as their final destination. They spent the Christmas holidays on board the ship crossing the ocean.

The Lucash family came up the Mississippi River by steam boat. They settled in the town of Freeburg, in St. Clair Co., Illinois, in the Spring or Summer of 1854. One of the family farms was in Turkey Hill, Ill. The other family farm was at 415 Old Fayetteville Rd. in Freeburg, Ill. Silver Creek runs right through the Lucash farm.

The ship's manifest spelled the Lucash name, Lukasch.

The first Bohemians arriving in St. Louis settled in what was then called Frenchtown. This section of St. Louis was later referred to as Bohemian Hill and today is called Soulard. The boundaries of this area on the near south side of the city are Lafayette Ave., 7th Street, Russell Blvd., and 18th Street. At the time, this part of St. Louis was known as "Bohemian Hill" and was a very active settlement with a highly regarded library.

In 1855, the early Bohemian immigrants were able to build their own church in St. Louis, St. John Nepomuk. The Lucash family often traveled from Freeburg to St. John's to attend services and sing in the church choir. This was the first Bohemian church in America. There existed two sets of parallel Bohemian institutions in St. Louis as well as the rest of the United States: Roman Catholic and Protestant (Hussite). The two groups did not associate or intermingle.

It was not until the revolution of 1848, when the anticlericals and freethinkers revolted in Bohemia, that any significant number of Bohemians emigrated. They arrived in St. Louis traveling up the Mississippi River from the port of New Orleans. The Bohemian immigration occurred in two waves: 1848-1870 and 1870-1920. The first wave tended to settle in St. Louis and the surrounding area. The second wave used St. Louis as a jumping off place to Chicago and other parts of the Midwest.

The Lucash family was part of the first wave and settled in Freeburg, Illinois. When the Lucash family arrived in America, Millard Filmore was the 13th President. Children were now required to go to school in Massachusetts by law. Bloomer girls were starting the fight for woman's suffrage, and in 1852, the first successful airship was flown by Henri Giffard. Joseph Ignatz Lucash had never seen the ocean before he crossed it. Now he was hearing about airships. He probably wondered what he was in for next.

At 67 years of age, Joseph Ignatz Lucash died in Freeburg, Illinois on September 1, 1868. Thirty six years later, at 84, his second wife, Elizabeth Lucash, nee Cross passed away on November 28, 1904. Both are buried in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Freeburg, Illinois.

The 1860 Federal Census for Illinois states that the Lucash land was worth $1100, the house $400. The neighbors on both sides were also from Bohemia.

Joseph Ignatz Lucash had at least nine children. Three of the nine were by his first wife, name unknown. Six were by his second wife, Josepha Kreuz [Cross]. Five of the nine were born in Bohemia and emigrated to America. The remaining four were born in Illinois. The four born in Illinois were the first American born generation of the Lucash family.

At this time the family names of Cross and Wottowa are the only other families from the Hapsburg-Austrian Empire that are known to have married into the Lucash family. The spelling may be Chris instead of Cross. It is spelled Chris in the 1868 church records at St. Peter's in Belleville.

The 30 page history of the Lucash family.

Michael McTiernan

N40 03' 09.4"
W75 24' 14.1"


Last updated Feb 2, 2000

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