Tessewreck surname - changed from something else?

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Hello everyone! I’m new here.

Well, here’s my situation. My great-great grandmother, according to her obituary, was named Mary Tessewreck, born around 1870, and came to Pompton Lakes, Passaic County, New Jersey.

She immigrated around 1886-1887, and I figured I could find her with her family in the 1890 census, but that was destroyed by a fire apparently…? The next census is the 1895 one, and she has married Charles (Charley) Cherney (listed as Churney in one census..) at that point. Some of the censuses with them list Germany as their birthplace, others list Bohemia. It’s quite confusing.

Okay, so… basically, I am lost. I have found a family with the surname Tesarik that immigrated around 1914 and were living in Passaic County, New Jersey. I’m trying to see if I can find a link between Mary and this family, but so far I’ve come up with nothing.

When you google or search records for Tessewreck, either only my forum questions over at show up, or there’s Teszarik, Tzrik Tsirak, Tesarik, Tesarek, etc.

What is the likelyhood that Mary’s last name, Tessewreck, was an “Englishified” version of her real Czech surname?

I am DESPERATE to find out who she was, who her parents were, and where she came from.

I’ve checked immigration records for Tessewreck – zip, nada, zero.

Any suggestions to help me out at this point would be SO appreciated. I’m just incredibly lost. :(



Hi, Tara, Tony is right….it has taken me up to 20 years to find some of my ancestors’ villages. I have 1 Tesarek family in my data: Vaclav Tesarek born about 1834 married Marie Simek on 24 Nov 1862 in Bela (North of Ledec). Vaclav was from the village of Trebetin. If you will give me as much information as possible about the family that came over, I’ll help you see if we can link to that village….it’s a long shot, but you have to start somewhere!

Hi Tara:

Just a quick note of encouragement, to not give up hope! It took me about 3 years of searching before I figured out my family’s immigration details

(Here is how I did it:

My first impression when I saw ‘Tessewreck’ was that it was an anglicized form of the surname ‘Tesar’ (i.e. a ‘carpenter’, in Czech)—it would be Tesarek in Czech, since your family was from Bohemia.

For perspective, here is where the surname ‘Tesarek’ is currently distributed in the Czech Republic

You could/should try searching (Castle Garden was the immigration port of New York City for the timeframe you are searching, the most prevalent port of that time)—be sure to use a wildcard () to search for permutations of Tesar

Have you tried searching CGSI’s Baca lists?

If you are unable to turn up any other leads on Mary, you ought to pull out all the stops and start researching any siblings she might have had and try to connect back to Mary. Have you checked any other local area newspapers for alternative versions of Mary’s obit? My gg grandfather had 3 different obits written about him and each had slightly different (sometimes conflicting) info about his life story. Was your family involved in any local cultural/fraternal organizations? If so, the family’s place of origin info might be referenced in their records…

Unfortunately the clue ‘Bohemia’ is too vague to be helpful, as a place name reference for meaningful searching.

If you are on Facebook, I would suggest that you post something on the CGSI Facebook page…

Where we have nearly 2000 fans who might be able to help you out or might even be your relative.

For research assistance, you can send an email to Mike our lead researcher, at:

Good luck!
Tony Kadlec
CGSI Webmaster

In reply to by anthony.kadlec


Thank you SO much for your reply and the plethora of information you have so kindly provided me with! I will read through your article on how you tracked down your ancestors. You are so lucky you were able to do so! I know it must have been a lot of work though!

I will give the Baca lists a try – someone else actually suggested that to me too!

I will also drop by the Facebook page and leave a post there.

Thank you again!!!

All the best,

I’d like to add to that first paragraph – her obituary says that she came from Bohemia TO Pompton Lakes. My mistake for leaving that important detail out!