Jewish Gravestones in Kouřim Cemetery

On our recent trip to the Czech Republic we went to Kouřim. Fun fact: this is the location of the geographical center of Europe! Here we went to a cemetery to view some graves of my friend’s ancestors. In this cemetery there was a corner that was reserved only for Jews. I photographed every headstone Read more about Jewish Gravestones in Kouřim Cemetery[…]

Silesian Emigrant Ancestor Indexes 1879-1881, 1889

If your ancestors emigrated to America from the Czech lands in the second half of the 19th century, records of their emigration might exist in the local archives, in particular for those who left later. For example, here are Silesian applications for foreign emigration 1877-1879. Here are Silesian applications for foreign emigration 1880-1881. Here are Read more about Silesian Emigrant Ancestor Indexes 1879-1881, 1889[…]

Czech Birth Matrika Templates

A request was made on the Czech Genealogy Facebook group for a some templates for Czech matriky records. Here is my work in progress, which you may freely use. It is not complete. I welcome any additions and corrections.  To add: anything from the 15th*-17th centuries, early 18th century, 20th century *It is not common Read more about Czech Birth Matrika Templates[…]

The History of Czech Matriky

I was confused about why the matriky in use today are stored in matriční úřady (registrar’s office), not in the farnost (parish). This did not make sense to me. Catholics who get baptized want to still keep matriky books today, because they are a record of a religious ordinance/rites. How can the government justify itself Read more about The History of Czech Matriky[…]

“…and to the Swedes a fiery hell!”

I saw in the footnotes of a book about Frenštát that it didn’t even make it onto Jan Amos Komenský’s 1633 map, no doubt having been destroyed during a siege during the Thirty Year’s War.  Well, that author was correct. It’s not on the map.  Where are you, Frankstadt? I was curious to find out Read more about “…and to the Swedes a fiery hell!”[…]

The mystery of the page+ long marriage entry: 4th degree consanguinity and Incest

Someone on the facebook genealogy group posted a link to an incredibly long (1+ pages!) marriage entry in the matriky for Lomnice nad Lužnicí. She wanted to know what it meant, and I was curious too. Here is an abstract of the record: On 5 September 1762 Wenceslaus Wondruschka of Záblatí, legitimate son of Laurentis Read more about The mystery of the page+ long marriage entry: 4th degree consanguinity and Incest[…]

What I wish I knew about Czech History

A little over a year ago I returned from my first trip to the Czech Republic. It was a life changing experience. The main thing that changed for me was starting to understand just how little I actually know. A tiny bit more than nothing. It was actually a very overwhelming, humbling, humiliating feeling. I Read more about What I wish I knew about Czech History[…]

House Numbering in Frenštát

My fourth cousin in Trojanovice sent me a copy of a history of the town of Frenštát from 1904. I started to read it in Czech, and of course I need to share what I am learning, because it is very interesting. Here is a translation of pages 7 and 8. ———————————————————————————————– House numbering was Read more about House Numbering in Frenštát[…]

How to trace Czechs before House Numbers

House numbers in the Czech lands are great. But they were not a thing until the 1770s/1780’s. And not all of our ancestors were the “knedlíky” kind. If you have ever eaten dumplings before, you know exactly what I’m talking about. They sit in your stomach forever, like bricks. Well, it’s nice when ancestors are Read more about How to trace Czechs before House Numbers[…]