One name stood out to me in the St. Malachy’s record books – it definitely wasn’t Irish and I didn’t think it was French, so I wondered what could be the origin of Birhanzel. For a good chunk of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries there was a Birhanzel baptism, first communion, or confirmation on nearly every page of the record books. Read the Birhanzel family history (from the 1978 history booklet) to learn more…
Charles Birhanzel Family Story
Charles Birhanzel was born in Czechoslovakia in 1873. While crossing the Atlantic during the immigration period he met Patrick McCarthy of Ireland. Years later after Charles had moved to Clontarf Township he happened to stop in at Pat McCarthy’s blacksmith shop in Clontarf and the two shipmates reunited.
Charles settled in Iowa after arriving in the United States and he married Mary Rose Slemenda. He and Mary Rose moved to the Clontarf area where they raised eleven children: Joseph, Alvina Ann (Hamann), Matilda (Franzmeier), Thomas, Anastasis, Fred (married Adele Hamann), Charles Jr. (Isabelle Palmer), Emma (Michael Zinda), Emily, Rose (Silas Tilotson, and Mary (Walter Wallace).
Descendants that are still living in this area are (in 1978): Joseph in Clontarf, and Mrs. Fred and Mrs. Charles Birhanzel living in Benson.
Would Patrick McCarthy be “Crackers” McCarthy? Anything to add about the Birhanzel and McCarthy families?