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The Jo

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What would you do if you found out a major secret from your family’s past?  And what if that secret was that your direct ancestors were the legitimate heirs to a European throne?

The Legacy of Faith: The Journey is a story about the travels of four families from central Europe in the mid-nineteenth century to Guttenberg, Iowa.  During this time, millions of German immigrants came to America due to the oppressive government, repeated wars, and yearly flooding that continued to ruin crops and lives.

The Tschohl family, Mathias Rohner, George Spielbauer, and Mary Pankraz all had their own reasons for fleeing to America from 1855 through 1871, and one of them hoped to leave the secret of their past behind them as they started over in the new world.



“Originally, I was honored to be asked to be one of the first to read Brian Spielbauer’s book “The Legacy of Faith.”  Then, before the book was delivered, I wondered if I really wanted to do it or not.  I mean, read a book about a guy’s family coming to America?  How boring was that going to be?  But a promise is a promise, and I had said I would do it.  I could not have been more wrong. This book kept me involved the entire time.  The story of Johann Baptiste Tschohl traveling with his family from Lichtenstein to Iowa in the 1840s is a story you do not want to miss. It is informational and historical, but it also involves action, romance, and danger.  This should be required reading for anyone studying immigration of the period or anyone that just wants a great read.”

Kevin Oeth

Mayor of Fayette, Missouri


“Brian captures the strains, struggles, decisions made, and the perseverance it took for a family to strike out for the adventure of a lifetime.  Those decisions produced a legacy for generations that followed.”

Don Mackey


“Mr. Spielbauer presents a fascinating story of a migrant family’s emigration to the United States.  From his research, he traces his family’s migration to the settlement of Guttenberg, a German community located in Iowa along the Mississippi River. An interesting read with interesting side stories about their struggles to get to their destination.  Looking forward to a sequel about the arrival of the family and the problems and successes they face at their new location.”

Howard Hubbell,

Retired High School History Teacher, Guttenberg, Iowa


“I loved the book.  I just finished it, and I couldn’t put it down. I remember many of these names from my Dad talking about them before he passed.  My older siblings (Arnie, Joe, Rose, Frank) know them better.  Still, in my opinion, the book is well-written, interesting, and a masterful blend of real-life people and the historical setting in which they lived.”

Tom Spielbauer,

Amarillo, Texas


“I absolutely treasured following the separate journeys of the Tschohl, Rohner, and Spielbauer families as they each placed their trust in a trek of a lifetime that took them from central Europe to a small river town nestled in the bluffs of the Mississippi River, Guttenberg, Iowa.  This historical fiction book was an extremely entertaining read as the author enabled me to gain an insight into settling in America that I had not considered before; personal stories of real people and the feelings and faith that must have been evident when taking part in a trip such as this.  As I read the adventures involved in the long travel to Guttenberg, I could not put off reading this story.  I am fortunate to have been raised in this small German town, and after reading this book, I find myself taking in the scenery of the Mississippi River Valley.  In an instant, I can see the valley through the eyes of people traveling up the river for the first time to find hope and security in an unknown time.  It is an exhilarating perspective to be able to experience and is due to following these families in their journey in The Legacy of Faith.”

Sue Meinecke

Spring Valley, Minnesota


“I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  The travels of these families made me appreciate how difficult life and travel were for those who came before us.  The challenges they faced were immense but not insurmountable.  After reading Mr. Spielbauer’s book about their travel to America to establish new lives, I am drawn to spend more time learning the stories of my own family members.”

Diane Frauchiger

Madison, Wisconsin


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