Sunday, May 31, 2020

What does 2nd or 3rd degree of relationship mean?

When you are researching your family history, one of the thing you can notice in the marriage notes are dispensations (permissions) to marry because of 2nd, 3rd or 4th degree of relationship. Well, we can translate that one quite easily - but what does it in fact mean?

Friday, April 24, 2020

Czech cemeteries - why there are no old gravestones?

There is one request which appears repeatedly in the guide requests I get - can we visit a local cemetery and look for the gravestones of my family? 

Sure we can. We can walk around the parish cemetery to which the village/town your ancestors lived in belonged. But if your ancestors immigrated to the U.S. hundred and more years ago, we most probably won't find them. Why?

Friday, April 10, 2020

German-speaking inhabitants of the Czech lands

I found an interesting map of the percentage of native German speaking inhabitants in the court districts of the Czech lands before the WWII. It shows the density of the German speaking population in the border area - Czechoslovakia was forced to give up these parts of the country to Germany in the Munich agreement of 1938.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Estates V - When it all ended?

The beginning of the estates dates back to the medieval ages as you could have read in the previous blog post. But when - and how - it all ended? 

Orlík castle on a painting by Vilém Ströminger, 19th century.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Immigrants from Žeraviny, Moravia

South-eastern Moravia was left by quite a large number of people heading to the U.S. They were looking for a better life, better living conditions as well as land to own. Some of them succeeded, some of them not that much. Anyway, some of these people were from Žeraviny, small town not far away from Hroznová Lhota or Kněždub (links go to the blog posts about immigration from these two towns).

Žeraviny on map from 3rd Military Survey. Source: Laboratory of geoinformatics.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

People in the parish books: Midwives

I wrote a post about priests - but those are not the only people mentioned in the parish books. Another "unimportant" name you can find there is a midwife's name.


Midwives started to be mentioned in parish books after 1780 and later they were distinguished as certified and non-certified. Certified midwives had to complete a university course and have certain qualities - but it doesn't necessarily mean they were preferred by families or that uncertified midwives provided much worse care.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Serfs register 1651: A map of the regions

I was asked about a map of the regional division for the serfs registers, which was created in 1651. I already wrote a blog post about the administrative system of Czech regions and districts in 2015, but I haven't mentioned the serfs register there.