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.

Location of Žeranovice in the Czech Republic (Source: Mapy.cz)

First written mention about the villages is dated by the year 1297. It's said on the official website of the village that there should be an older mention from the first half of 12th century, but I haven't found this information elsewhere. The name Žeranovice originates from the first name Žiran with suffix -ovice which means "someone's village" or "village owned by someone", in this case by a man called Žiran.

The patron of the village is Saint Lawrence of Rome, to whom is sacred local church. His attribute is a gridiron, on which he was burned to death. Gridiron is also a part of the village coat of arms, together with a lion, which belonged to the Seilerns, who owned the villaged from 18th century. 

Žeranovice on map from 2nd military mapping (Source: Mapy.cz)

The village was owned by a large number of different owners, more or less important noble families from Czech lands. We find Šternberk family, Rožmitál family and many others among the owners. The village belonged to the Količín domain in the middle ages, but later there was created a new domain called Žeranovice domain. 

30 years war and the Battle of Bila Hora brought large changes to the domain. Previous owner, Kryštof Ulštorfar from Němčí, was an evangelical and joined the wrong side during the uprising against the king. This was the reason why the Žeranovice domain was confiscated and later sold to one of the noble men who were loyal to the king.

Aerial view of the village (Source: Mapy.cz)

The domain was later bought by the family of Seilerns who held it until the year 1924 when domain were cancelled. This family brought many good things to the village, one of them was reconstruction of a small chateau in the centre of the village. This chateau was a centre of the domain, there were outbuildings all around it and whole life, both social and economic, was directed from this place.

Here is information from the censuses about the number of inhabitants and houses during the years:
People 815 608 601 653 651 631 664 636 763 749 687 676 748
Houses 128 106 111 117 124 127 140 152 166 174 187 230 243
Source: Statistic book called "Historický lexikon obcí České republiky" (Historical lexicon of the Czech Republic villages)

Tourist map with details about Žeranovice surroundings (Source: Mapy.cz)

Genealogical information
Žeranovice belongs under Moravian Land Archives. It has its own parish since 1784 and the parish books are available online till 1892 (births), 1873 (marriages) and 1877 (deaths). It belonged to Mysločovice parish between 1703 and 1784 and to Holešov parish between 1618 and 1703. 

Following surnames belong among those oldest ones in the village: Andrýsek, Daňačík, Dokoupil, Doležel, Drahotuský, Gába, Gořalík, Halaška, Halašta, Hotař, Hradil, Janečka, Janoch, Janovský, Juruška, Klimek, Konečný, Kopřiva, Kučera, Němec, Odstrčil, Páleníček, Pavlíček, Potůček, Řihák, Smýkal, Šimčík, Žůrek.


  1. Wow, not villages of my ancestors, but interesting and full of details. I look forward to reading about each and every village you write about.

    Julie (Canada)

  2. Do you have any information regarding the Janecka Family geneology? This is especially pertinent if you have data from before 1850.

  3. Hunter Thomas klimekJanuary 30, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    My name is hunter im part czech and I am looking for my family's crest if we have one my last mayor l name is klimek does anyone have any information

  4. Hunter Thomas klimekJanuary 30, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    If so contact me at hunter.klimek@yahoo.com

  5. Thank you, Blanko! Many of my ancestors come from the area around Zeranovice, and several of the last names listed are in our family tree as well. :)