Here is what I have found out about our family in my research (so far):
First of all as to our name - "the first word Eber means a wild boar, in other words a very honorable fighter. The L being a diminutive, or Eberl, a small wild boar. Eberle is Schwabian, and Eberlein is Bavarian, Eberl is German. The name, Eberl, "is very old and was recorded as Eberhard in Wuerttemberg [Germany] 1229, and as Ebrusch in 1368 near Prague [CZR]." - Aida Kraus, moderator, German-Bohemian Digest, Vol. 3, Issue 254. So it is a German name, with Bohemian (Czech) origins,
The Sudetenland was originally settled by Germanic tribes as early as the time of Christ, so many families in that region are German. The Sudetenland was named for the Sudeten mountains in that region of Bohemia and my research has shown residence in Zaluzi/Salluschen near Plzen of the Sudetenland for over 214yrs. So it may be said that we are Germans from Bohemia! I am trying to go back earlier but it is getting more and more difficult to go back before 1650 AD. due to the holy wars, ethnic cleansing, plagues (Bubonic), fires, illiteracy, etc. that existed back then. We find so much "common ancestry" among us now going back to the 17th century, because all of us are descended from the few survivors of that time and we are backtracking to the same people that were left alive. We can hardly envision the trials of living back then.
As to where EXACTLY we are from: Our family line has lived in the small village of Zaluzi (Bohemian name) Salluschen (German name), population: 400, house #7, from, at least, 1650 to 1864 when Anthony Eberl, and his brother John, emigrated to New Washington, Ohio. All farmers, John moved on, a few years later, to Ottoville, Ohio in Putnam county where he changed his last name to Eberle ("why?" is shrouded in mystery). Zaluzi (Salluschen), pop.400, is located just SW of Plzen (where Pilsner beer was fist made) and is part of the Sudetenland, named after the Sudeten mountains that form a border between Germany and Bohemia. Germany has coveted this area even before the foundation of the Holy Roman Empire in 962AD and when it was under the Austro-Hungarian empire, German was the official language for village names, streets and laws. Czechoslovakia was formed as an independent nation after the end of WWI as part of terms of Austria and Germany's surrender. It was given to Adolf Hitler of Germany on Sept. 29, 1938, also known as The Munich Agreement, as an appeasement by the League of Nations to his demands, prior to WWII. After Germany's defeat in WWII, many properties of people with German sympathies/origins were confiscated by the Czechs and those people were forced to leave their land by the Bohemians (Czechs) known as "the Great German Expulsion of 1945" or the Beneš Decrees named and generated by the first president of the newly formed government - Edvard Beneš (paybacks were hell!). On 28 December 1989, Václav Havel, at that time a candidate for President of Czechoslovakia (he was elected one day later), suggested that Czechoslovakia should apologize for the expulsion of ethnic Germans and Hungarians after World War II. In March 1990, President Havel stated that the expulsions were "the mistakes and sins of our fathers" and apologized for massacres of Germans during the expulsion on behalf of his people. He also suggested that former inhabitants of the Sudetenland might apply for Czech nationality to reclaim their lost properties. However, the Czech government never followed through on Havel's suggestion. The governments of Germany and the Czech Republic signed a declaration of mutual apology for wartime misdeeds in 1997. Some of the people were forced by the Communist regime to work the uranium mines and were considered "expendables"and died. But I digress...Part of my my 'quest' is to discover where the exiled Eberls in our family went after the Great German Expulsion of 1945. What I have found is that many of the exiled Germans (possibly including our own distant relations) went to Puhoi, New Zealand (near Aukland, New Zealand). Puhoi was settled a group of German-speaking migrants from the area at and around Zaluzi on June 29, 1863 (see the Wikipedia article on Puhoi). I am still digging and am in touch with several New Zealanders...I'll let everyone know what I find.
On the maternal side, Gertrude Roettgen's grandfather,John Roettgen (the name originally Rödgen and pronounced RE-TIN of Geseke, Westphalia, Prussia, born on 1820, met Gertrude Bergman, born on Oct. 28, 1820, and also of Geseke, Wesphalia, Prussia, and who emigrated on May 28, 1861 from Bremen on the vessel New York, bought farm property north of Luystown, MO. Both were Catholic and attended a Catholic church established by Catholic missionaries in nearby Frankenstein, MO. - named for either the Franken farm of Godfreid Franken on which it stood or in deference to a benefactor in Germany by the name of Frankenstein who donated funds. Part of the land donated/sold by John's son, Bernard Dionysius and Joseph Schaefer. John had enlisted on the Union side of the US Civil War on Sept. 23, 1862 from St. Louis, MO. Rank: Private of the 17th Regiment, Missouri Infantry. His regiment was responsible for storming the Confederate strongholds along the Mississippi River, which usually were located behind a swamp. John died at a Memphis, Tenn. field hospital on March 29, 1863 of diarrhea (dysentery?). His burial place is unknown. Gertrude applied for and received a widow's pension from the US Government on July 11, 1870 and was a prominent midwife for the region. Gertrude remarried Anton Radmacher and had one child by him, Francisca, in 1885.