Monday, November 28, 2011

Too many things to be done...

...before Christmas. That's why I had to put aside all things which are not directly connected to my work. I have not forgotten about this blog, I keep it in mind, don't be afraid. There is just a little time left for myself and I need to rest sometimes. :o) It should be better in January, anyway I hope to prepare a Christmas special post. Thanks for understanding!

Family history: Vaclav Filipek

My father, Vaclav Filipek, was born in Pencicky (now included in Pencice, Northern Moravia), October 25, 1917. He died in 2007. His father, Jan Filipek was born in Iwierzyce, Galicia and his mother, Anezka Drabkova, was born in Pencicky (from my father's birth certificate). In January 1934, his father and immediate family were deported to Poland.

Family history section

Many people want to share their family history with others and probably find someone related. I have decided to provide a space for those people whose ancestors came from Bohemia, Moravia or Silesia and who want to share their memories, family history and stories with others. 

First family history outline is from Anna Franklin from Canada, about search for her ancestors who came partially from Moravia and Poland. If you also want to share your family history with others, just send me an e-mail (my address can be found in Contact page). I'll be glad to publish it here, in this blog.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Theme for every week: Lost and Found

Many of people who are living in the Czech Republic today have their relatives over the ocean - but they are not aware about them because the family history got lost in some point and no one knows now that for example great-grandfather's brother emigrated from Bohemia to United States. I acted as a guide in few cases where people from U.S. wanted to meet their relatives here in Bohemia or Moravia. Have you ever tried to contact you relatives?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

History of villages: Hvožďany, Bohemia

Small village Hvožďany is located on the slopes of Brdy hills. Its name comes from the word hvozd which means deep forest. Hvožďany was a village of people who lived inside the forests or next to them. The name itself shows that the village is very old - such names were given to the villages in very early middle ages.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Kiva: Genealogists for Families

Which help makes sense? Help to those who want to help themselves. Microloans are based on this idea - small loans to people who want to improve their business, home or farm. Team Genealogists for Families was founded on Kiva non-profit website - and you are welcome to join. You can change someone's life.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Birth and baptism in Czech society

Beginning of new life was always covered with a bit of mystery. It is painful for the mother, full of changes for her family, it brings new hope and promises. What are the customs which were connected to the birth of child and its baptism?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

History of villages: Žeranovice, Moravia

Žeranovice is a small villages with just 750 inhabitants. It is located in the Zlín area, on Žeranovka creek which goes from Horní Lapač through Žeranovice to join the Racková creek. It is located in the altitude of 245 metres, just under the Hrádek hill where a gord (settlement) was located in neolithic age.

Monday, October 31, 2011

History of villages: Introduction

As there are just few official village/town's websites available online, I decided to offer you new "section" of the website. This "section" will be located under "villages" label and will provide you history of different villages. Those villages in which you yourselves are interested. And I need you assistance - I need to know in which villages you would be interested. So, leave me a comment under this post with your tips!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Theme for every week: Heart of Europe

Heart of Europe - this is how Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic is often called. The largest town of the Czech Republic is located in the centre of Bohemia, in the Vltava river valley. But how was Prague divided in the past? How do you work with the registration lists which are available online? And are there some parish books already available?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Theme for every week: Let's other wage wars, you, happy Austria, marry!

Austrian Empire was really well-known for its marriage policy which brought many new lands and regions (Hapsburg princes knew really well whom to marry to connect new areas to the Empire). So, this weekly theme is focused to marriages of our ancestors. And one question to start with: Did some of your ancestors marry really well? Did he for example marry the only daughter of larger farmer? Or had some of your gggrandmothers luck in choosing her (wealthy) husband?

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Marriage... Beginning of new life, creation of new family. Not alone anymore, children to come. There were (and still are) many things, customs, superstitions, sayings and so on connected to the Czech wedding. Do you, for example know, why the wedding day was mostly Tuesday?

Theme for every week: Writing is an exploration.

Have you written your own family chronicles? Do you have some old chronicles, bibles, letters which are held in you family as a treasure? There almost always is some kind of written treasure in every family...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Old scripts (fonts)

There are two types of scripts used in Czech registries. Older one is humanistic cursive which is related to our writing, newer one is kurrent (or neo-gothic cursive) which has different lines and draws.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Theme for every week: Isn't this the carpenter's son?

Occupation - what else can be meant by the title? :o) Do you have a teacher among your Bohemian or Moravian ancestors? If so, I wish you good luck in search... As I haven't received any e-mails for this weekly theme, I have decided to take a story from my husband's family.

Czech-English parish books dictionary

This is first part of three different dictionaries which cover content of the registries. Second part will cover German words and third part Latin words. Not all the Czech words which you'll see in parish books are covered by this dictionary, only the most common ones. I have not included occupations as I'm preparing another post with occupations Czech-German-Latin-English dictionary.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dictionary: Months, days and so on

Czech names of months and days are quite different from the English or German version. And sometimes you'll see old German names in the registries. I have prepared a "time" dictionary which will help you to orientate yourself in the registries (and not only them).

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Theme for every week: A dirty book is rarely dusty

This week's theme can a bit... Well, delicate. What belongs under dirty? An ancestor who was a pirate? Single mother in 19th century? Crime? Some interesting affair with a noble man or woman? We can imagine any of these situation as dirty. I have chosen a single mother because it's very common case in our past even the fact that our parents and grandparents say that our generation is the most wicked generation.

Friday, September 30, 2011

How to search in Czech cadastral register

Czech cadastral register (register of houses and plots) is available online. It's very useful when you want to find out who's owning the house today, what's the plot number of the plot where the house is standing and so on. Unfortunately the website is available only in Czech, so I've decided to prepare a short guide to it.


As you are often doing research in places you have never been to, it's quite important to have good maps to search for the proper towns, villages and other locations. There are many maps and other websites which can help you in your research and which can provide you better idea where your ancestors lived.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Theme for every week: Home Sweet Home

Our first Theme for every week is Home Sweet Home. It could mean any home - home in old country, home in new country, place you once visited and felt home in and so on. As Cheryl with her question about Jindřichov was the first one who send me an e-mail I've decided to tell you her story this week. 

The newest registries in archives, part I

This post is focused on the youngest registries which are available in the archives. The timespan of these registries can be set from 1840 to 1910, in some cases 1930. Parish records contain the largest amount of information during this period and the structure of the records is quite strictly set.

Friday, September 23, 2011

How I found my great-great grandfather

This post is going to be a bit personal - that bit how personal can be a post about one's great-great grandfather. His name was Josef Čudlý (link goes to the MyHeritage website with our family tree, directly to the personal file of Josef Čudlý) and he was born in 1838 in Šach, really small village in southern Bohemia.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Czech Archives dictionary

Not all archives have website translated into English. I've prepared a dictionary of words used on the websites so it's easier for you to search for the village, parish, record and so on. Please be aware that this dictionary is only for the archival websites, not registries and records themselves. The dictionary has two parts - dictionary itself and list of abbreviations used in archives and this blog (both Czech and English).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Czech Registries - basics

As we are researching our family past, it's always good to be aware which registries are available in archives and which are still in municipal office, what types of registries are available and so on. This post focuses on these basic things.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Czech first names

Translation of Czech first names into English is often discussed topic. There are some name which are easy to translate, as Anna, Jan or Zuzana, but there are also other names where translation is not so clear – the most common example is the name Václav, which is widely discussed (there are currently four different names used for translation of name Václav – all of them are based on the immigration records).

Language of Czech registries

The official language of the present Czech Republic is Czech. All the official documents are written in this language since the founding of the republic in 1918 (with pause of the WWII when the country belonged to Germany). The situation was quite different in the past.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Theme for every week...

I have decided to invite you to participate in this blog. Every week I'll publish one post, which is written by you or based on your own research. Is there anything you can't read - and it fits to one of the themes this post? Do you need something translated? Do you need an advice? Or do you want to share your story with others?

Czech Registries - history

The most important source of knowledge for family history researchers are definitely registries, also called parish books, in Czech matriky. This word comes from Latin matricula, which means list of priests

Czech Republic and its territory

Czech Republic is often called "the heart of Europe" as it lies in the middle of this continent. You can see its location on the map below. It's not a large country, it has about 78 thousands square kilometers (abt 30 thousands square miles).

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Which parish (and archives) to search?

The most important source for everyone who is researching Czech ancestry are the registries (parish books). Every village was a part of a parish since the middle ages and every parish is stored in some archives, so first of all you need to know to which parish (and archives) the village of your ancestors belonged to. 

Religion - was it really important?

Well, yes, it was. Everyday life was nearly connected to religion, to the church. If you are interested in history you probably know a bit about Czech reformist Jan Hus, about Hussite wars, Czech brothers and so on. But anyway, short overview can make it a bit clearer.

Czech Archives overview

There are eight archives where the catholic and evangelistic registries (parish books) are stored. All these archives are open to public and you can visit them Monday to Thursday (Friday is dedicated to scientists).

CzGfB - ok, but why?

Answer to this question is quite simple - there are many people from all around the world who have their root in Bohemia, Moravia and Austrian part of Silesia. Many people left the area of what is today know as the Czech Republic. They left mostly during the 19th century, but there were also people who decided to leave after the WWII.