This is the site so it seems appropriate to explore just what a "brickner" is. No doubt, I am writing from a sort of inside position -- what some might refer to as "speaking out of school". So be it.

Brickner is a surname originating in Central Europe. Most of what I know is rumored to come from US immigration records as well as interviews with some descendants. Indeed, some of my cousins were able to trace our heritage back a couple hundred years well into the "old country" and the mid 18th century, albeit by jumping surnames from time to time. The general focus seems to be a town or area known as Landskron. Interestingly, it is hard to exactly tell which country this is in as the borders kept changing as the Politics of Europe ebbed and flowed. Czech, Hungarian, Austrian, German? Pick your year. Besides that, my Dad used to say, "the fences weren't that good any way."

The origins of the folks is likely typical of most Central Europeans. Having originally evolved up through the line of primates back in Africa, some of our ancestors got restless. Eventually, these dudes began to satisfy this wanderlust by trekking out across Eastern Europe and then drifting west. This migration took thousands of years and and hundreds upon hundreds of generations. No doubt these were tough folks.

Old Weird Uncle Karl.
I hear that my ancestors
talked about him and
his wife, Hilde.

I have not received a DNA analysis but anthropologists have suggested this group strayed from the purity of their African Cousins. Of course there were many, many intra and inter tribal sexual encounters both free and forced. Recent revelations even suggest there were sexual interactions with the Neanderthals who also domiciled in Europe in the early days. Ian Tattersall refers to this as "Pleistocene hanky-panky". I must say, it is something of a miracle that we turned out as normal as we appear.

Socially the brickner clan was nomadic and most probably tribal throughout most of the migratory period. At some point, they landed in the central European regions and ended up as serfs in the dark ages. At the dawn of the renaissance religious turmoil in Europe created new class systems among the subjects. The feudal system tended to restrict any nomadic tendencies. Position in society was determined by birth and inheritance.

Most of the Brickners of my acquaintance are of the Catholic faith. But, we also know that immigrants from this area included Protestants and Jewish practitioners. So too, Brickners seem to cover a broad spectrum of faith.

There seemed to be a dominant class scheme in central Europe. There was a bottom layer of Catholics covered by a bottom layer of Protestants. Then a new layer of upper Catholics topped by the upper Protestants. This layering also reflected various levels of land and property ownership. There is some suggestion that this layering is reflected in the waves of immigration from this area to the US. The bottom would have been the most agitated and restless to move but financial wherewithal probably confounded this logic. The wealthier layers had less immediate need to leave until later.

Other Politics also influenced the migration as conflicts and war caused indenturing of warriors. The war affected all classes including big landowners when crops were confiscated or destroyed. I was even told that my grandfather was encouraged to leave home to avoid a draft. Good move. But, all was not perfect in the US as the civil war was prosecuted and subsequent financial recessions occurred. So, waves were natural occurring before the civil war, after the civil war, and again in the latter part of 19th century.

There is little evidence of industry in this area of Europe. The commerce developed in central Europe had foundation in agriculture complemented by trade-able day labor skills and crafts. This commerce barely supported the village communities in which these citizens resided. The same trades were available to provide some support to these folks on their foray into the "new" world. For example, my own grandfather made the migration in the latter past of the 19th century becoming a farmer in western Wisconsin and traveled to the Twin Cities to labor as a stone mason. (It is a long held lore in our family that he helped construct the first ice palace at the St Paul Winter Carnival.)

Brickners are scattered across the Midwest and even into the far west. There are some greater concentrations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas. To try to draw profound conclusions concerning the characteristics of all of these people would be a little like drafting a book of astrology -- and -- about as useful. Nevertheless, it is fun to try. Here is a preliminary observation.

Sense of humor -- strong and varied especially given to teasing.

Given to Exaggeration -- almost unbelievable

Prideful Braggarts -- yup!

Selfless -- tends toward responsible provisioning but not greed.

Tolerant -- usually outgoing and trusting

Bargainer -- looks for deals, expect to negotiate

Loyal -- surprising history of long marriages.

Fun Loving -- well, of course -- sometimes to a fault.

Enjoys Alcohol -- indeed! Sometimes enhanced through interbreeding with the Irish etal.