Friday, October 17, 2014

Czech School Registers

FamilySearch published Czech school registers few weeks ago and as these registers are mainly in Czech or German, I have decided to write a bit about them. I already wrote about Czech basic education, so let's take a look on those school registers in this post.

School registers (školní výkazy in Czech) are valuable source because they provide us a bit more about lives of our ancestors. These registers contain school grades so you can find out if your great-grandfather had good or bad grades, if he was good in math and better in history and so on. 

These school registers right now cover only districts from Northern Moravia and Silesia - Bruntál, Frýdek-Místek, Nový Jičín, Olomouc, Opava and Přerov (as on 17th October 2014). I hope more districts will be available in future, at least from the rest of districts from this area (as Karviná or Šumperk).

School building in Pašovice (Southern Bohemia).
Source: District archives in České Budějovice.

There are two types of registers available - overviews and detailed school reports. Not all schools have detailed reports scanned (or available at all) but if you are lucky you will find one or two for your ancestor.

I chose Neplachovice (Opava district) school as an example of those overviews. This school was German and it therefor had German forms and documents. Here is an example from 1898 - it's a list of pupils together with some information about them. There are no grades (unfortunately).

First is order number (Post Nr.) of the pupil. Second is residence (Wohnung) and name and status (Name und Stand) of parents or trustee (der Eltern oder deren Stellvertreter). This information is quite useful as you can decide which child belongs to which family if there are more families of the same surname in the village. Then there is a name of the pupil (Name), birth place and land(Geburtsort und Vaterland), then there is date of birth (Geburtzeit) and finally religion and native language (Religion und Muttersprache).

Second part shows more information about pupil - sex and age: boy (der Knabe) or girl (das Mädchen) and then age span (6 to 7, 7 to 8 etc.). Next column shows information which school the pupil attends (Welche Schule das Kind besucht) - there is usually "hier" (ie. here) written there. Then there is information where the pupil has his lessons - home (zu Hause), in private school (in einer Privatanstalt), in high school (in einer höh. Anstalt), in factory school (in einer Fabrikschule) or some other school (in einer Fortbildunschule). 

It was also important if the child has to pay school fees (Zur Entrichtung des Schulgeldes) - obliged (verpflichtet) or not obliged (nicht verpflichtet). Last were notes - there were different types of notes written there as when the pupil left school and so on.

School reports
This type of report provides much more information from the education point of view. It contains not only information about pupils, but also grades and information about attendance. I chose an example in Czech from school in Polkovice for year 1895/1896. There are also reports in German - those are almost the same as the Czech ones.

Czech example
First is again the order number (Číslo běžné). Then there is a name, birth place and land, birth date and religion of the pupil (Jméno, rodiště, vlast, stáří a náboženství dítěte). His/her father's (or trustee's) name, status and residence follows (Jméno, stav a obydlí otce nebo poručníka a stravovatele). Then there is missed attendance (Zameškaná návštěva školní) - it was written in half-days which were counted in one of the last columns (Počet zaměškaných půldnů - number of missed half-days). Then follows date of school attendance beginning (Od které doby navštěvuje školu).

And now for the funny part. School subjects! Behavior (Mravy), Religion (Náboženství), Reading (Čtení), Grammar (Mluvnice), Spelling (Pravopis), Composition (Sloh), Math and Geometry (Počty a měřické tvaroznalství), Biology (Přírodopis), Geography (Zeměpis), History (Dějepis), Writing (Psaní), Drawing (Kreslení), Singing (Zpěv), Physical training (Tělocvik), Needlework (Ženské ruční práce), Layout and design of essays (Zevnějšek písemných prací).

Scale is needed - 1 is the best, 5 is the worst, so:
Behavior: úplně přiměřené (úp) = 1, přiměřené (p) = 2, méně přiměřené (mp) = 3, nepřiměřené (n) = 4 while this scale has only four grades.
Subjects: velmi dobrý (vd) = 1, dobrý (d) = 2, dostatečný (d) = 3, sotva dostatečný (sd) = 4, nedostatečný (n) = 5
There is another scale for Layout and design of essays - velmi pěkné (vp) = 1, pěkné (p) = 2, méně pěkné (mp) = 3, nedostatečné (n) = 4 - again, only four grades.

So, have you found your ancestors' grades? Let us know!


  1. I haven't. But I can imagine that they are similar to the ones posted. My nana was able to reach second grade and she is one of the smartest persons I know until now. That says a lot of good about the quality of education back then. - Layce of aussie writers can write an essay in no time.

  2. Interesting, very interesting. Now it makes me want to research this avenue for my ancestors. Thank you!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. These schools are most valuable for learners and students they are hopefully make their future safer and brighter. Assignment Help UK

  5. I just got a transcript of my ancestors' school grades from my researcher. This helps me interpret them better. I thought the scale was opposite - 1 being bad and 5 good. Glad to have that clarification! She got a 4 and 5 in "female handwork" - oh no! Ha!

  6. Interesting, very interesting.