mých předků

I may not know how to pronounce mých předků, but I know what it means: my ancestors. For the past week or so, I have been conducting genealogical research on Seth’s mother’s father’s mother.  (Did you get that? That’s Seth’s great great grandmother, or one-eighth of his ancestral lineage.) Barbara Antonia Fajkus-Neuvar was likely the eighth child of Josef Fajkus and Barbora Mican-Fajkus. Although she was born in Victoria, Texas, her parents and five of her siblings were from Hukvaldy-Horní Sklenov, Bohemia. In 1890, her family emigrated to New York City and headed south to start a new life among the vast Texas farmlands. Bohemia (1198-1918) is one of three historical regions in the modern Czech Republic. (The other two are Moravia and Silesia.) Sounds simple, right? However, Bohemia ALSO refers to the entire Czech territory, including Moravia and Selesia. Unfortunately, this lack of distinction can be very confusing to the casual researcher. On United States census records, Czech immigrants often listed their origin as Bohemia, but it was unclear as to whether they meant the specific region or the generality. If the immigrants did not list Bohemia, they almost certainly listed their origin as Austria. (On Seth’s family’s records, Bohemia meant the entire Czech territory. Hukvaldy-Horní Sklenov is a village in Moravia.) That’s right. The Czech Republic (1992-present) did not exist when his family emigrated. Ah, but you knew that. Well, Czechoslovakia (1918-1992) did not exist either. BUT! Austria-Hungary (1867-1918) did. Like Seth, I too have family from the Czech Republic. In 1860, my mother’s mother’s family emigrated from Austria to New York City, then to Dubina, Texas. A generation and a half later, my mother’s father’s family emigrated from Austria-Hungary to Galveston, then to Dubina. Their specific origins were the villages of Trojanovice, Frýdek-Místek and Hovězí, Nový Hrozenkov in Moravia, respectively. Yes! Seth and I both have families from Moravia. And what do you know? If cars existed back then, it would have taken them just a little over an hour to visit each other. (Note the map!) Next month, we plan to visit all three villages in the far east of the Czech Republic, but we will travel by train and by foot, not by car. I cannot wait! [photo: Nový Hrozenkov]

3 thoughts on “mých předků

  1. Pingback: ahoj! | éclair glimmer

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