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.
His son, František, was born in 1867 in Telč, town in Vysočina region, not far away east from Šach. If you ever go to the Czech Republic, I recommend to visit this town - it's beautiful with lots of Renaissance buildings, wonderful churches and unique castle. 

Josef was mentioned as an illegitimate son of Anna, daughter of František Čudlý and Marie nee Macke from Šach in his son's birth record. It is also mentioned he was of non-catholic, helvetian religion. I found his son's birth record about 10 years ago - and since then I wasn't able to find anything more in this line. 

 Village Šach on map from 2nd Military Survey. Source:

Yes, I have found two more sons of Josef and his wife Marie nee Mašková. But I haven't found their marriage. My friend took a look for Josef's birth but he was unsuccessful. We searched both catholic and non-catholic registries, in Telč, Šach (it belongs under parish of Velká Lhota), my friend visited municipal office in Dačice, where the registries are also stored, but nothing. I visited cemetery in Telč to search for Čudlý and Čudlík family and so on and so on...

Today I decided to take a look on this line. I was sure there was something I missed. So, here is what I had: 
  • František, Josef's son, was born 1867 in Telč
  • Telč registries are stored in MZA Brno and are available online on
  • Josef was married to Marie Mašková before 1867, but not in Černíč, where Marie was born, or in Telč, where the family lived since 1867.
  • Josef was an illegitimate son of Anna, maid in Šach, daughter of František Čudlý from Šach and Marie nee Macke
  • Josef was of non-catholic, helvetian religion
  • Šach belongs to SRA Třeboň, parish Volfířov (catholic) or Velká Lhota (non-catholic). These records are also available online on
Ok, here we go. Then I realized I haven't taken a look on death records for whole 10 years. Oh my, why? So I searched Telč death registries today for Čudlý family. Josef was not there, only his two sons, which confirmed the fact that whole family except Joseph was catholic. 

I took a look in Horní Dubenky parish records - it's helvetian church there and people from Telč sometimes went there. No, nothing. Then I checked death records of Velká Lhota - and yes. He was there. He died in November 1897 in Telč house no. 121 because of lungs paralysis. And there was a small note in the records - born on 26th February 1838 in Šach house no. 25.

I have him! I really do! It was only a matter of minutes to find him in the birth registry. And here he is - the only illegitimate child on this page of birth registry. And it could probably be a little test for you. Are you able to read information about his mother?


  1. I can read the word Anna. Is it written in Sutterlin Script? I can recognize the S because that is what I look for in my husbands ancestors Sperl.

  2. Blanka, I dont know German, but I think I can read it, its what Im doing in my researches...
    So here it goes:
    Anna ehelich ledige tochter des Franz Czudli, Chalupners in Schach ?? 25 und der mutter Maria geborene Tors(??) von Schach Chalupners ?? 25.
    I think is something like:
    Anna, single, legitimate daughter of Franz Czudli, cottager in Schach house 25 and of Maria, nee Tors(??) Cottager from Schach house 25.

    Am I right?
    Ps. I used anonymous to post, but Im member of your blog :)

  3. Chris, great! Tors is Twrs (Tvrz), that sign before 25 is HN for Haus Nummer.

  4. Im so glad that I could translate it right!!!! Im trying to learn everything that I could, so thanks for the tips!!!!

  5. Alois Čudlý a bratr Antonín Čudlý-Nová Bystřice jejich matka Františka rozená Talpová, provdaná Krejčí a Čudlá - Horní Dubenky č.23 nar.16.2.1848 Nová Ves sos uvízla jsem

  6. Blanka, or anyone who can help: I have been trying to track down my paternal grandfather's birth records. There have been so many conflicting stories in the family and nobody knows where he was born. We think he was born 11 July 1879 (that's what his death record in Canada reads) but we don't know where. Family oral history is Germany (some say Hamburg, some say Brand by Nürmburg, others just say Germany) while two Canadian census documents say Bohemia, his marriage certificate says Austria and his death record says Austria. The Passenger Manifest for the ship he sailed to Canada on says his residence was Brand Bohemia. How on EARTH do I find his birth record?? I can translate German okay but not Czech or really any other language. I don't know where or how to look. Please help!

  7. My family lived in the the village of Radlice, near Sach. In 1890 they employed a maid named Josepha Cudly who was 25 at the time. When they came to America in 1903 they sold the farm at #2 Radlice to Frantisek Cudly. The Cudly family owned the property until the year 2000. Maybe a relation although a common name in that area. -Charles Macku