Part 694p – Smith Groh Genealogy – The Mystery of Brayton C. Placeway – Is Gablonz, Austria, Jablonec in the Czech Republic?

25 May 2012

Good Day,

Could this genealogy research get a bit more confusing? Yes, of course it can… And I can guarantee that the research and search of information and data for ggg-grandfather Brayton C. Placeway is going great. I definitely feel like a life-detective as I try to piece each part of his puzzle into the credible story of his life.

According to the 25 February 1915 Pinckney Dispatch front page article, ggg-grandfather Brayton worked, at some time, for a gas company in Gablonz, Austria. It also indicates that his second wife, Johanna (née Plischke), whom he married around November 1914 was from Austria. Of course the question I immediately ask – “Was Johanna Plischke from Gablonz, Austria?”

And where is this Gablonz, Austria?

From Wild Things Beads

The German bead industry is still alive, but only just. It is based out of southern Germany, in the Bavarian city of Neu Gablonz, named, of course, after Gablonz, the Bohemian city which was the capital of the Austrian bead industry during the Austrian Empire, and later Czechoslovakia, when the name was changed to Jablonec nad Nisou. The local chamber of commerce dates Jablonec back to 1356 when it was first mentioned in documents, but permanent settlement only occurred in the 16th century when a glass works was established in Mseno, which is now incorporated inside the city limits of Jablonec.

When I try to understand the timing of ggg-grandfather Brayton’s travels and journey, I do have a bit of confusion as the 25 February 1915 article in the Pinckney Dispatch relates that ggg-grandfather Brayton was in “absence about nine years which time has been spent in roaming through nearly every land in Europe.” In Part 691p I discuss the time frame calculation and confusion.

Further on in the article it states that “For 4 years Mr. Placeway has not known the taste of pie. Upon his arrival in New York, pie (good old American desert)… (and not my spelling mistake)… was the first delicacy he devoured with keen delight. Mrs. Placeway did not know the existence of such a food until her first taste in New York.” If I read this literally, I would calculate that ggg-grandfather had not had any apple pie since 1911. Again I’m perplexed at the time factor.

Okay here’s a real puzzler. GGG-Grandfather Brayton, according to the article, had not had apple pie in four years, and his wife, Johanna (née Plischke) did not have any inkling regarding pies… GGG-Grandfather Brayton had worked in Gablonz, aka Jablonec for some time. From Wikipedia “the town’s name means “place with apple trees”. And then I think, what about apple strudel? Well, again I search, and according to Wikipedia “Strudel is most often associated with Austrian cuisine but is also a tradintional pastry in the whole area formerly belong to the Austro-Hungarian empire.” Yes I know pie is not strudel… but… What can I say?

Stay tuned for more revealing facts and information into the reconstruction of the life and times of ggg-grandfather Brayton C. Placeway.




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