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?

My great-great-great-grandfather František Trojan (born 1835 in Třešť) was a lucky one. He was a third son of his parents and he hadn't too many chances that he would inherit any piece of land. His task was clear - to find a wealthy bride whose dowry will be able to secure both of them and their children. 

He was successful. He married Rosina Janoušková from Strachoňovice, which are quite far away (21 km = 13 miles)  from Třešť where he was born.Strachoňovice is a small village with just 50 houses and 150 or so inhabitants. It's located south from beautiful town Telč (which I already mentioned on this website).

Rosina was one of ten (yes, 10) daughters of Jan Janoušek and Voršila Bártů. Jan owned one of the largest farms in Strachoňovice - the house has number 12 and it still stands in centre of the village. Jan didn't have any sons and therefor he had to find new liable man who will be able to manage the farm. 

House no. 12 in Strachoňovice

He found this man in František. They probably met on one of the markets which were regularly held in Telč on the main square. These markets were place where many things were settled - not only business or getting an apprentice for crafts, but quite often also marriages. If a father decided that his daughter is going to marry someone it was quite probable that it will really happen. 

Rosina and František got married in 14th February 1860. See? It's Tuesday. Rosina got the family farm as her dowry. One of the duties of her husband was providing a dowry to her younger sisters. One older sister was already married, one younger married 14 years later. Two died in infancy and one when she was just 20 years old. We don't know what happened to youngest sister, but two older sisters never married and had illegitimate children...

Strachoňovice house no. 12 doesn't belong to Janoušek/Trojan family anymore. But the descendants of František and Rosina are still living in the area, as well as descendants of Jan's siblings. 

Ten daughters of Josef Janoušek


  1. thanks for your blog!!! Im really learning a lot!!!!! My ancestors were from the Lipnik/Hranice region. Id like to know what they used to consider a good catch? It hadnt to be from both sides? I have in my ancestors a farm family who let the farm to the older daughter and her husband. What I dont understand is why because Id read that the inheritance (good theme! :) ) law in this area was male primogeniture and after the middle 18th century to the younger son.
    Single women make me curious too. I have some cases too... single mothers and or just single ones... What these seem so common? I think these 2 cases must had been so hard to women in those times... how was the life of a single woman?

    Thanks again!!!!
    Chris Gromann

  2. Chris, as with many rules and guidelines, I think that the practice of passing down inheritance varied with the circumstances. If the rules stated that the oldest (or youngest) some should inherit the farm, but that son is somehow unsuitable, what provided more societal benefit: obeying the rules or maximizing the use of the farm?