How to begin...

Where to begin your research? There are tens of posts in this blog providing information about Czech research, archives, parish books, language, history and much more. Czech research is not too easy - foreign (and quite difficult) language, strange hand-writing, strange system... But you'll get into it, don't be afraid.

I have to warn you anyway. Genealogy is very time-consuming hobby. Really. And not only because it's hard to find the ancestors. It's an addiction. Believe me, I know what I'm writing. Even when I wasn't a professional, I was able to spend tens of hours every week researching my past - just because it was fun, because I was always learning something new, I was able to find so many things I haven't known before... Time-consuming, that's definitely the word.

But the fact you are visiting this blog shows that you are already in, right? So, where to begin your Czech research?

The answer is the same and it doesn't matter where are you from: at home. First of all, gather all the documents you are able to gather, stories your relatives are willing to tell and so on. Because first of all you have to locate a place where your ancestors were from. It's almost impossible to do any research if you don't have the correct place. Dates are not important (as they are often incorrect), names and places are. As soon as you have the place, check these blog posts:
Czech archives are providing access to the registries online. Check these blog posts which are focused on browsing the registries:
There are also few guides for browsing systems of Czech archives:
There are also some dictionaries available:
The rest is on you. There are currently 89 posts on this blog and the number should be getting larger in future. Unfortunately there is almost no system in the posts (excluding key words) as I'm writing as it comes to my mind. Chaos - that should be my second or third name... :)

21 comments:

  1. Blanka, you are awesome. What would we do without you? Many things you write about it took me a LONG time to learn by myself. I know I will still learn more by reading ALL your blogs.-judi

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    1. Blanka,
      I am sorry to jump right in here (in someone else's post) but I cannot find where I should. . . I need help! I am trying to help my Aunt find out when her Great Grandparents were born. We know they were from Austria/Bohemia/Czech/Slovakia (every record says something different depending on the year). Anyway, Grandfathers name was Andrew Ughrin. I've searched Ughrin, Uhrin, Uhren, Ondrej, Andro, Huron, and on and on. And I cannot find anything. Can you help me?
      Melanie Standiford (Nebraska, USA)

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    2. Hi Melanie!
      Although I am not a genealogist as is Blanka, I have spent many hours per week on this hobby. A couple of points:

      (1) Are you on myheritage and on ancestry? Those are good points to start, because many people interested in their root already did a lot of the work. I am surprised that about half the time I find a new ancestor, that person is already in someone else's tree.

      (2) With regards to Austria vs Bohemia vs Czechia, etc., I tend to ignore those designations because the name of the state changed often, and simply look at the name of the town. Town names usually do not change.

      (3) As far as searching for geographical locations, try kdejsme.cz , which Blanka mentioned in this blog.

      Good luck!

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  2. Ahoj Blani, škoda, že tady ty stránky nemají možnost volby jazyka. Moc ráda bych si je četla v češtině, s googlepřekladačem je to dost pomalé. Ale jsou úřasné. Laďka Minaříková, ladkaminarik@gmail.com

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    1. Ahoj Laďko, bohužel - tohle je holt blog pro zahraničí. :)

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  3. Blanka, I just discovered your blog, and I wish I had done so three months ago. You are right when you say genealogy is an addiction. I've spent many, many hours researching my wife's ancestors in the village of Pitín, Moravia, near Bojkovice. Thanks to a letter from the Bojkovice Roman Catholic church, I became aware of the Moravský zemský archiv Brno. With the help of a Czech co-worker and a German handwriting expert I found on the web, I have become quite adept at reading through records dating as far back as 1768. I can now read the Czech records from the late 19th century with no trouble, but still have great difficulty with the earlier German ones. I would like to use your blog as a resource for questions I may have, but I'd also be glad to share tips on what I've learned. - Ted R, Massachusetts, USA

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    1. Ted, yes, it's an addiction. And if there are such great sources available online as in case of the Czech Republic, the research is quite easy (well, I know, language, writing etc, but still - you don't have to travel!). :) Good luck in your research - and I'll be happy to answer any questions as the answers are usually useful for more people.

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  4. Do you know the link (if there is one!) to look thru the parish records for: Ctiněves (a village and municipality (obec) in Litoměřice District in the Ústí nad Labem Region of the Czech Republic). I have not had to look thru this area and I'm not sure where to start!

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Cammi Drevo-Amezcua
    Reno, NV USA

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  5. Looking for my granfather with 1895 baptismal document showing Blsko and Pisko. Is Pilsen or Brno archive best?

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  6. Ha ha - I found where to post :)
    - Melanie Standiford

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    1. Melanie - if you are on Facebook, join us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/czechgenealogy/ - there are a lot of people available to help. Blanka is one of the group admins =)

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  7. Hello,

    My name is Razvan Bocaeti And Ițm from Romania. It seems that the grandfather of my grandfather was from Bohemia and he immigrate to Romania ( between 1850 - 1900). I tried to find similar names or derivates like Bocaec, Bokaets, Bocaets, Bokaetz, etc. but I could not find any match. Could you help me a little bit ?

    Best regards,
    Razvan

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  8. I am very new at this, we are visiting Prague in april 2017 and hope to find the birht place of my husband and my grandparents his grandfathers town is sometimes Kasejovice and sometimes Kasejorice supposedly near Pilsen . Are these two different places ? Harsens Island Michigan

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  9. Blanka, hoping you may shed some insight or suggestions for me. Family surname is Viterna with the I making an uh sound. Not a common name. Family is from near Prague, but that's about as much as I can tell you. I have been in contact with another family with the same name but from Italy. Nationality listed in US as Bohemian/Austrian but my grandfather was adamant that he was Bohemian and gypsy. He was of darker complexion in the photos I have seen. I have an old photo of Viterna family that did not come to the US, it is undated. My great grandfather Josef Viterna became nationalized in 1880 and I believe he arrived in late 1870's. Does the name ever show up anywhere you have seen? thank you for any light you may be able to shed on this.

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  11. why is prague not listed in the 1834 census

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  12. Hi. I am researching my Tlapek heritage. All I can find is that they came over from Bohemia. Im looking for information on John Tlapek born around 1814 and his wife Magdaline. Im not sure what her maiden name was.

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  13. I'm excited to learn about my grandfather's family. Frank Danek.

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  14. Hi. My husband & I recently visited my family towns in Czech: Strelskohosticka Lhota & Olsany..

    We couldn't find anyone in Olsany that spoke English. But in Strelskohosticka Lhota, a very kind and helpful lady on a bike happened to find us, and I showed her my family tree. She nodded vigorously and motioned for us to follow her (she didn't speak English, but spoke German, which is what my husband luckily speaks).

    She took us to house #24, where I met a distant Holoubek cousin! This gentleman invited us into his house. He brought out a book about the town and a family tree. I swear that my family reuses names every generation, so it makes it a challenge to figure out who everyone is.. We visited for a while and vaguely figured out how we were related.

    They intimated to us that we should come back later that day, and that someone wanted to meet us. We came back after madly dashing through a few cemeteries nearby.

    When we returned, they took us to meet a wonderful lady several houses away, and she turned out to be a 72 year old genealogist! She powered up her laptop, and proceeded to blow my mind with charts that went back to the 1600's! The site that she showed me is Rodokman. What a great site, and if you click on the flag at the top right, you can convert the site into ENGLISH!

    They then took us across the street to a house that I had guessed was the family farm that my Holoubek family lived in 1920's when my grandmother visited Czechoslovakia with her father (they lived in Chicago). They stayed for 6 months and my grandmother went to school there for 6 months.

    As we walked into the open area surrounded by the barns and house, I got goosebumps. This is where my family had lived for centuries! The house was not currently lived in, and looked like they had moved out and left all of the tools and farm equipment. There were even fruit trees with fruit on them.

    All of a sudden it came to me that the pear tree in front of me was the tree in a photo that Gram left me. I could now figure out were many of the photos were taken.

    I was surprised how large the barns were, and how many there were. They formed a hollow rectangle. It was an incredible experience!

    My question is this: I know that #4 was originally #3, and #24 was originally #9. So, in church records, they say what number a house is where someone was born or died at. So when do I know that someone living in #3 was actually living in what is now #4?

    I've enjoyed reading your blog tremendously! Pam O'Bryant Gripe pobryant63@aol.com

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