Sunday, June 29, 2014

Czech Censuses 1843-1921 part II. - content

We went through the background of the censuses and it was shown how to search for the proper record in the first part of the Czech Censuses. Let's see what the censuses contain, what information can be found there and what not. I'll use 1921 census as an example as it's the census which is widely available online.

Content of the census
So, now we know for what to look on the census sheets to find our family. But - what do the records contain? Is the information there correct?

Well, last question is a bit complicated. Names are correct. Places are correct too. Dates... well well well. Not that correct. Sometimes there is small difference between the date in census and in reality. Sometimes there is huge difference between these two dates. Unfortunately our ancestors were just people and people make mistakes. And they made MANY mistakes. I think I haven't seen a census sheet where all dates were correct. So take these dates as a reference which could be wrong.

The census was written in the native language of the family - ie. Czech or German. I'm preparing a census dictionary in both languages so you are able to gather more information from the census than just names, dates and places. But it's a long-term effort as there are too many words and terms to be included.

Let's take a look on the columns of the census. They are numbered so it's easier to describe them. :)
  1. Pořadové číslo - sequence number. Number of the person in the flat. First written person was the owner/renter of the flat, next was his wife/her husband, then the children, then relatives, employees etc. 
  2. Příjmení - surname. Quite clear, isn't it? :) But! Maiden name of wife is not shown, only her married name.
  3. Jméno - first name. No need to write more. 
  4. Příbuzenský neb jiný poměr k majiteli bytu - relation to the flat owner. Wife, daughter, son, mother, mother-in-law etc.
  5. Pohlaví - sex. Male, female, nothing more. 
  6. Rodinný stav - marital status. Single, married, widowed. Easy as that.
  7. Rodný den, měsíc a rok - date of birth. Sometimes correct, sometimes wrong, don't rely to these dates. Day, month, year, months written in words.
  8. Rodiště: a) rodná obec b) soudní okres c) země. Birth place: a) municipality b) court district c) crown land. Czech lands had quite complicated administration system, while divided into court and political districts. If there were more villages of same name, the district will usually help you to decide which village it is. Hm, maybe another blogpost, but where to find time?
  9. Od kdy bydlí zapsaná osoba v obci? Since when is the person living in the village? Usually shows a year when the person was born or when the marriage took place in case wife moved to her husband's house. Could help if you are not sure when the marriage took place.
  10. Domovská příslušnost: a) domovská obec b) soudní okres c) země. Domicile: a) domicile village b) court district c) land. Domicile is a theme of its own. I can't help myself but this should be a blog post. So I directly wrote one. Domicile rights between 1849 and 1948.
  11. Národnost - nationality. Czech, German, Slovak, Hungarian and many more.
  12. Náboženské vyznání - religion. There were too many of churches in Czechoslovakia. Roman catholic, old catholic, Unity of the Brethren, Jewish, Czechoslovak and some more - and then people who were atheistic. 
  13. Znalost čtení a psaní - knowledge of reading and writing. Well, yes, not all the people were able to read and/or write in the beginning of 20th century...
  14. Druh povolání - occupation type. In which area the people worked - agriculture, house keeping, industry, services...
  15. Postavení v povolání - job role. What exactly the person does. Farm owner, house keeper, daylabourer, miller, blacksmith, glassmaker, teacher - oh my, so many things can be written there!
  16. Bližší označení závodu - specification of place where the person works. His own farm, her husband's house, specific factory or iron works, specific office...
  17. Měla zapsaná osoba dne 16. července 1914 nějaké výdělečné povolání? How to translate this one. Did the person in question have some gainful job as on 16th July 1914? I'm not sure why this column was included in the census, have to find out.
  18. Druh povolání 16. července 1914 - occupation type as on 16th July 1914. The same as above, just focused on the past. 
  19. Postavení v povolání 16. července 1914 - job role as on 16th July 1914.
  20. Poznámka - note. Here belonged any note the clerks who were putting the census together thought worthy to be mentioned. Of course the notes were clearly set - as if the person is currently present at home or if he/she is living elsewhere because of studies or work or is just on vacation etc. etc. 
Quite many things, right? Good luck with the search - and don't forget, older censuses could be slightly different (so I'll preprare a table comparing all those censuses which are available for Czech lands).


  1. Always enjoy reading your detailed posts and this is no exception. I now have a much better understanding of the census forms. You are very right about the mistakes in birth dates, I have found many!!

  2. Your site is so wonderful ! Thank you for all that you do to help us with researching our Czech ancestors..

  3. Is the Czech census available online?

  4. The significance of July 16, 1914 may be that it coincided with the ultimatum to Serbia by Austria-Hungary (of which the Czech lands were a part) following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28. Hostilities in what we now know as World War I began on July 28.

    This strongly suggests to me that the question about a person's employment on July 16, 1914 was posed in order to determine what a resident's situation was prior to mobilization for war.