Archiver > GEN-SLAVIC > 1998-04 > 0893338431

From: Karel Kysilka <>
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 21:29:49 +-200

Many of the list members have their roots in East Bohemia, mainly in the former district of LITOMYSL and POLICKA.
In last two issues of the local newspaper OBECNI NOVINY of the community of DOLNI UJEZD near Litomysl following article appeared, pertaining the history of emigration to America in the second half of 19th century.

I hope that this article will be interesting for many gen-slavic list members and I hope that somebody is linked with the family names mentioned in the article.
The article you may find later on my

Karel Kysilka



The year 1848 brought not only the abolishion of feudal serfdom and "robota" - a compulsory work for the landlords, but also the possibility of a free movement of the rural population. There is a higher rate of migration, not only within the villages of the estate but also the escape of people to towns in order earn new kinds of subsistence, mainly in industry and services. Many families decided to find their new life in other provinces of the monarchy (Banat, Slavonia, Croatia, Galicia and Bukowina), and even also in abroad - in the promised America, Ukraina, Russia etc.

Emigration became the only possibility for daily labourers, cottagers and in some cases for small craftsmen of both Bohemian nationalities to overcome their poverty and to gain a piece of soil of their own for the subsistence of their multiple families. In some cases the emigration was caused by the deteriorated political relations in Austria-Hungary (the Bach´s absolutism, police regime etc.) Also the former farmers can be found among the emigrating families. They either thought they would gain more property, or they felt in debts and hoped to earn money abroad and to return home later.

The most people was moving to Slavonia - the north-east region of Croatian territory betwen the Danube, Sava and Drava - , but America and also Russia attracted the people with their waste fertile fields. Also the gold rush in California after 1848 contributed to the rate of emigration. Bohemian towns and villages were full of shipowners´agents from Hamburg and Bremen who convinced people of the advantages of life in the USA.

The local councillor of Dolni Ujezd, a trademan, an organ builder, bee-keeper, and people´s writer Jan Stritesky wrote a family chronicle (the original is unfortunately perished today), where he described the beginning and the emigration course in Dolni Ujezd between 1852 to 1860s.

"In A.D. 1852 a veteral corporal KYSILKA a.k.a. the Goldfinch from House No. 25 with his wife and two children left for America after harvesting."(Josef Kysilka sailed off on the board of the ship Luisiana from Bremen to New Orleans on Oct. 21 1852 together with 38 other passengers.).
Josef STRITESKY from House No. 66 with his wife, two children and brother-in-law Josef KABRHEL alias (=a.k.a.) RAFAJEL and Kabrhel´s wife from House No. 235 left for America that year as well.
The voyage was very expensive - 100 Guldens C.W. - and the emigrants had to sell all their belongings, including the house or cottage, and still it was not enough in many cases.

A new wave of emigration started in 1855 - as Stritesky wrote - "Somebody from PRIVRAT (a village near to Dolni Ujezd) who returned from over the ocean summoned a meeting in the new pub on Febr. 28, 1855. And he made people crazy. Some (Matej-Matthew) KALIBAN who owned quite a wealthy homestead, sold it, prepared to leave, and later was very unhappy of it" (no mention if he emigrated or not).

On July 9, 1855 Josef UHLIR from No. 56 with all his family, (Franc) KALIBAN from No. 178 and his brother from Fridrichov left for ever the paternal village.Josef Uhlir, when he later made himself in the USA, send a gift of 1500 Guldens to the village council to provide loans for poor farmers and craftsmen for a very moderate interest. The interest should then have been divided into school pupils.

Stritesky continued:
" In March 1862 several families went to Russia. Namely SVIHEL from No. 57, STEFFL from No. 137, (Vojtech) JUZA, a cooper from No. 53 with his spouse and 6 children, JILEK from the shepherd´s cottage and all of them sold their dwellings with fields. Several months later two KUTAs families from No. 161, 162 emigrated to Slavonia. When the news reached back, that everything is OK there, two other families joined the stream of emigrants to Slavonia: the KARLIKs and Anna KYSILKA, a widow after the shoemaker Josef KYSILKA with her lad. On March 1, 1865 seven other families set out for Slavonia - JANDERA, a labourer, PATOCKA from No. 140, bricklayer - who made it "for delight", and DANICEK and others .... from Jarosov and Chotenov (another villages in the neighborhood).

A.D. 1867 four other families from No. 75, (Jan) BULVA, a saddler from No. 72, (Franc) ZAVORAL from No. 178, some Josef SCHEJBAL from No. 136. On November 11, 1867 a single (Jan) VESELIK, a tailor, and Novacek´s son (Jan), with the family, left for America.

The stream of emigration to the USA continues: May 3., 1873: Jan VORBA from No. 56 with his wife and two children, in next years: Jan RIHA from No. 81, Josef ZDARA from No. 189 with wife and five children, Josef JISKRA, a widower from No. 193 with 5 children, Josef KULHANEK from No. 104, Ludvik BENIS from No. 35, Frantisek VORBA from No. 292, Josef RUBEK from No. 305, Josef NOVACEK from No. 330, Tomas SAUER from No. 332."

In 1878 Josef JILEK from village SEC No. 37 ( native of Dolni Ujezd 16) emigrated to the USA, he became later very healthy and send contributions for construction of the Sokol gymnastics hall in Dolni Ujezd.

We know nearly nothing about the fates of those emigrated people. Today we have only information of the descendents of Josef KYSILKA from No. 25, Josef STRITESKY from No. 66, Jan Kabrhel from No. 235, brothers PAVLIS from Nos.72 and 88 and Josef JILEK from Sec No. 37.

There must have been much more emigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries. We would welcome any information that can add new facts to this chapter of our history.

the article was written by
Zdenek Holub
Dolni Ujezd No. 344
u Litomysle
Czech Republic.

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