John Joseph Bichrest

This entry was posted by on Friday, 9 October, 2009 at

My general focus in the past few weeks has been researching the BICHREST family. BICHREST is a variant spelling of my mother’s paternal line, BICKEREST. Currently I am researching my great-grandfather, John Joseph BICHREST, born April 20, 1890 in PARNO, Austria-Hungary. PARNO is in modern day Slovakia, and is now known as PARCHOVANY.

I believe I have located John Joseph’s Ellis Island records. It is often difficult to find records for Slovakian immigrants because of the many variations in spelling of the name. Luckily, a very talented genealogist by the name of Stephen Morse has written a highly extensible interface to the Ellis Island records, which are provided by the The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. Utilizing Stephen Morse’s site, I was able to locate the records of a Janos BIHREST.According to the records, Janos was born in 1890, and arrived in the United States 1907.  After some research, I was able to find out that Janos is a Hungarian translation of John. I do not know why the name is spelled BIHREST. It could be a legitimate historical spelling, or simply a misspelling at the time he entered the country through Ellis Island. The 1907 arrival date is corroborated in the 1930 federal census, which enumerates John Joseph. The Ellis Island record shows his destination as Bayonne, New Jersey, where John Joseph lived most of his life.

John Joseph was married to a Susanna VARGA, my great-grandmother. I do not yet know her origin or their date of marriage. Susanna died at a very young age in Bayonne, New Jersey. Susanna had two sisters, Anna VARGA and Berta VARGA.

IMG_0037_zoomedJohn and Susanna BICHREST

I recently received a copy of John Joseph’s Social Security application (SS-5). The SS-5 identifies his parents as Paul BICHREST and Susan CISMAR. There are no records that I’ve been able to locate on Paul and his wife stateside, so I will probably have to start researching Hungarian census records to find more information on them.  A cousin in Maine did do a quick lookup for me in the The 1869 Hungarian census. The census for Parno lists a family of BICHRESTS, including a Pal BICHREST. Pal is a Hungarian variant of Paul. Is it my Paul? Time will tell.

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2 Responses to “John Joseph Bichrest”

  1. Ronald J. Versic

    In 1960 I graduated from Chaminade High School in Dayton OH with Joseph Bichrest. I have later heard that he disappeared from sight.

    Would you have any current information on Joe.

    Thank you, Ron Versic

  2. Stephen


    My great-grandfather would have been 70 in 1960, so it’s probably not the same one. I am interested to hear about this Joseph Bichrest though. The name is so rare that he likely is related to me.