I am searching for the Kobes family, immigrants from Bohemia who I believe spent nearly a decade in Manitowoc County before moving to southern Nebraska and northern Kansas. Unfortunately, the years we know they were in the county were between censuses--I have found records from (or with direct evidence for) 1861, 1862, 1863, and 1866. I don't believe they moved west until about 1869. Details below...
I am descended from one Jacob Kobes (b: abt 1849 or 1850), about whom I have found no records until 1870 in Nebraska. His wife (Marie Filipi)'s family had spent the 1860s in the Racine area (until at least 1868), but I cannot find a marriage record from either Wisconsin or Nebraska for the couple. However, a Joseph Kobes and a Lorenz Kobes each married in Manitowoc County in the 1860s (Joseph 10 Nov 1861 and Lorenz 24 Apr 1866, and a friend of mine is headed to the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison to get the full info off the original records).
We know from Margie Sobotka's 1890s book "Nebraska, Kansas Czech Settlers" that Joseph and Lorenz Kobes were both from the same tiny Bohemian village (Havlovice, near Domazlice) as my ancestor Jacob. We also know that Joseph and Jacob Kobes worked together closely when Wilber Czech Cemetery was founded in Saline County, Nebraska, in 1874. Moreover, Joseph, Jacob, and their widowed mother Katharine were all living in the small town (population <200) of Swan City, Saline County, Nebraska for the 1870 census, and 64-year-old Katharine was living with a 9-year-old girl of unknown relation who had been born in Wisconsin in about 1861. (The girl was a Kobes, but we don't know who her parents were. Presumably, Katharine was her grandmother.) Lorenz Kobes moved to Republic County, Kansas, around the same time (for certain by 1875).
Based on the apparent dates of family's movements and on their close proximity in Nebraska, I have presumed the three men, Joseph, Jacob, and Lorenz, I think quite reasonably, to be brothers. At the very least they were cousins. Their ages also line up with Katharine's child-bearing years.
More background: Sobotka's book also says Joseph Kobes' son Frank J. Kobes (b: Oct 1862) had been born in "Koshuttown, Wisconsin." From an 1863 Civil War Registration list we know Joseph "Cobes," the correct age to be our Joseph Kobes, was living in Kossuth. I assume, then, that his son's birth location "Koshuttown" was simply a poor transcription of the town "Kossuth."
Any help finding Jacob in Wisconsin or identifying the parents of the Kobes brothers in Wisconsin would be appreciated! Thanks.