Sunday, February 2, 2014

They Came In Groups

If you are interested in Texas Czech genealogy, you should "czech" out Robert Janak's "Janaks Texas-Czech Articles and Photos" website. It is excellent, in particular the articles section.

Here was a useful post that he wrote called: "Dubina, Hostyn and Ammannsville. The Geographic Origin of Three Czech Communities in Fayette County, Texas."

Janak used tombstone inscriptions in the cemeteries of Dubina, Hostyn, and Ammannsville to determine the place of birth for the immigrants. Only 1/6 of the cemeteries of the tombstone inscriptions in either the Dubina Catholic Cemetery and the Hostyn Catholic Cemetery contain information about the place of birth.

Janak analyzes the data found on the tombstones, and concludes that, "the original settlers of Dubina and Hostyn came to Texas from a few villages in the northeastern corner of Moravia. The immigrants that later followed them to these two communities and to neighboring Ammannsville came primarily from the same region...Dubina, Hostyn and Ammannsville were quite literally Moravian communities transplanted on Texas soil."

I plotted where I *guess* that most of these places are on a map. You must remember though, Czech village of origins can be tricky because there are a lot of places with the same name - and some are very close to each other. However, I think my guess is an educated one, given that I have been studying my own ancestors who were part of the original Dubina-Hostyn-Ammannsville Texas Czech settlers, as well as those that followed soon thereafter.

I compared this map to the 1848 regions map because it also shows the estates. It's interesting that over half of these villages of origin are from the same estate - the Hukvaldy Estate.

This is further evidence to me that I need to study the records for the Hukvaldy Estate!

I think it would be really interesting to repeat this study using a greater variety of records to back up the findings. Instead of solely relying on tombstone inscriptions, it would be interesting to search out the parish matriky records that are now so easily accessible via for all the original settlers of these communities. It is now possible to get solid evidence about the origins of these people. I'm sure entire villages were overlooked in Janak's study simply because they were never inscribed on the tombstone. However, it appears this article was written in 1978, long, long before this age of free-flowing information. Think: Iron Curtain.

I deeply appreciate his work on this because it helps me to better understand the culture of my ancestors. They did not immigrate in a bubble; they came in groups. Their community was important to them.

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