D. A. Houdek

Deb Houdek Rule

Family History and Genealogy

Houdek, Sauter, Kotek, and Kinzel Familes

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Houdek & Kotek
I've had no luck at all tracing the Houdek family in Bohemia. The records may exist but they're not yet as easily accessible as--for example--Norwegian genealogy records. Were it not that John and Anna (Topich) Houdek, both born 1816, had come to America and lived with two generations of their children in Minnesota, I'd have not found them at all. Houdek is a fairly common name in Bohemia and southern Germany near Munich. Looking at a Munich phone book I found many Houdeks. Also, the very first thing I found in Germany after crossing the border from Belgium was "The Original Houdek", a brand of sausage I found at a gas station convenience store. There are also Houdeks from Austria and Switzerland. In the US, the main concentrations of Houdeks were in Minnesota, many near New Prague, and in the vicinity of Omaha, Nebraska (another prime settlement area of Bohemian immigrants).

I don't know of relationships to any other Houdeks than those listed in this website--if you know of a connection from your Houdeks to these, please email me.

Houdek, somewhat unflatteringly, though probably accurately, means 'one who shouts derisively.' I'd like to think of it as 'town crier' but a more apt interpretation is probably the town nutcase who stands on a corner shouting insults at people. Ah, well... At least it's an interesting name.

As anyone with the name "Houdek" knows very well, it is frequently misspelled and mispronounced. The correct original pronunciation, as used in my family, is hoe-deck (pronouncing 'hoe' like the gardening tool, and 'deck' like a deck of cards, with slight accent on the first syllable). An unrelated family that is often confused with ours has the name "Hudak" (pron. who-dock). Hudaks have no relationship to Houdeks--Hudak is Slavic, as in from the Slovakia portion of the former Czechoslovakia, while Houdeks are Bohemian from the Czech part.

I haven't worked much yet on the Koteks (pron. ko-tek with a long "o"). I suspect that Matej (Michael) Kotek is listed as Matthew Kotec in the 1880 Helena Township, Scott County, Minnesota census, but there are some conflicts in that info.

Sauter & Kinzel

Sauter (pron. sow-ter--'sow' like a female pig) is a German name meaning 'sutler' or 'shoemaker'. Little has been found on the Sauters back into Germany (Prussia) outside of information from USA records like the census. Nicholas Sauter was born in the USA in 1859 and his sister a few years older in Germany which gives a bracket for Joseph Sauter's arrival in America. I looked up immigration records for Joseph Sauter at the Minnesota Historical Society but, unfortunately, the name is too common to be sure which person was which. Common misspellings used in transcribed records include "Santer" (the 'u' gets changed to an 'n'), "Souter" and "Salter".

Nicholas Sauter was married in a Catholic wedding in Lanesburg, Le Sueur County, Minnesota and only four years later--after his wife and young son's death of typhus--married Franseca Kinzel in a Lutheran wedding. This is puzzling as Franseca Kinzel was Bohemian and 97% of Bohemians are Catholic (as was his first wife). "Kinzel" in searches comes up with predominantly German records so, though she classed herself as Bohemian, it appears Franseca Kinzel may have been more ethnically German, possibly from an area of southern Bohemia south of Prague.

Other names that appear here are Miska (pron. mish-kuh), and Picha (pron. pee-kuh).

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Surnames: Bollaugsen - Dahl - Michelet - Hegge-Rask - Lee (Lie) - Houdek-Kotek-Sauter-Kinzel

Burnett Co., Wisconsin Cemeteries: Pleasant Prairie, St. Olaf, Wood River, Benson, Logging Creek, Riverside Cemetery, Grantsburg

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