Genealogical and Family History Research in the Czech Republic
Over the last few years, we have witnessed an increasing interest in genealogical research among Czech Americans. Our Embassy has received many requests for information on how and where to start researching their Czech lineage. Aside from the several individual researchers both in the United States and in the Czech Republic, the usual procedure recommended by our Embassy in the past was always led through the State Central Archives in Prague -- an umbrella institution that coordinated research for non-citizens for all types of records and in all areas of the Czech Republic.
Unfortunately, the Embassy has been informed that due to the overwhelming number of genealogical queries from all over the world, the State Central Archives is unable to guarantee individual requests to private persons in a period shorter than one half of a year. Under such conditions, the State Central Archives in Prague is seriously considering the option of not accepting any further private requests.
This information led us to contact several officially certified genealogical societies in the Czech Republic and to investigate the possibility research being done for private individuals from abroad. Four societies sent us positive responses (please see the list below). All of the societies operate throughout the territory of the Czech Republic (i.e. the historical lands of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia).
Although their price, duration of research and other conditions vary slightly, the study takes approximately 1 - 2 months (providing that you supply enough information to start the research, such as date and place of birth, baptism or marriage of the researched person, the correct name of the village/town, etc.). Detailed conditions must be discussed with each individual society. Please note that our Embassy bears no responsibility for the quality and results of the services provided by these societies and that we can not mediate your research requests to these societies:
Heraldicka a genealogicka spolecnost prof. Antonina Bocka; Masarykovo nam. 1, 593 01 Bystrice nad Pernstejnem, Czech Republic; e-mail: email@example.com; tel.: + 603.726.452;
www.Czech Emigration Museum.com
The Czech Rozmberk Society and its US sister organization Friends of the Rozmberk Society Inc are two non-profits focused on preserving the Czech - US emigration history and settler's heritage. In the Czech Republic, the Rozmberk Society is operating the Kojakovice Peasant and Emigration museum ( www.CzechEmigrationMuseum.com). The museum has permanent exhibitions about 19th century village life, reasons for emigration, and historic Czech emigration from South Bohemia to America. The exhibitions are based upon the personal stories of both local villagers and of Czechs who emigrated to America and told about their experiences through letters, oral history, and other means. The CzechFriends website tells about the emigration history from life in the Old Country to the stories of settlers on the Great Plains. Staff and volunteers of both organizations are also involved in genealogy research as part of their activities. In addition, they also provide professional genealogy services and heritage tours (CzechAncestry).
Family Lines, Mgr. Eduard Kovaldi
P.O. Box 7
284 01 Kutna Hora
Jan Pilat Skolni 848/2
Horni Slavkov 357 31
Tom and Marie Zahn
Na Homoli 5
143 00 Prague 4
T & P Research
Praha 9, 199 00
Dukelska 11 915 01 Nove Mesto n.V
Dus, John (Rev.)
nabrezi svobody 561
Policka, 572 01
Dolni Dobrouc 460
Janackova nabrezi 57
150 00 Praha 5
398 43 Bernartice u Milevska
Kondrys, Antonin (Domazlice County)
34601 Horsovsky Tyn
Koudelka, Dr. Miroslav
772 00 Olomouc
tel.: +420.585.241234 or +420.603.326285
170 000 Prague 7
tel.: +420.604.264922 or +420.630.540453
Before approaching these societies, you may want to consider contacting some of the Czech and Slovak genealogical organizations in the United States. These organizations provide valuable information of not only historical and cultural character, but also information relating to the name and location of villages/towns from where your ancestors came, your family names, and how to start your own family history research etc. They also frequently advertise contacts to private researchers. Sometimes people have found that the search they had been trying to do in the Czech Republic had already been done by some distant relatives who also lived in the United States. They were then able to get in touch with their new-found relatives through the genealogical societies. By utilizing the organizations in the United States, people often save money, find interesting friends and - sometimes - even find unknown relatives through their membership!
Please note: The following list does not name all of the Czech and Slovak societies and organizations in the United States, but rather those that fully or at least partially dedicate their activities to genealogical and family history research and are willing to provide advice and assistance to both members and non-members.
The oldest of these U.S. based genealogical societies is the Czech and Slovak Genealogical Society International (CGSI), which headquarters in Saint Paul, MN. The CGSI, established in 1988, has more than 4,600 members. The CGSI promotes genealogy of the ethnic groups that comprise former Czechoslovakia - namely Czechs, Slovaks, Carpatho-Rusyns, Jews and Germans. Aside from a number of seminars and workshops, the CGSI organizes excellent cultural/genealogical conferences that always attract several hundreds of people. The CGSI publishes a quarterly newsletter "Nase rodina - Our Family" that contains a great amount of valuable information both on historical, cultural and genealogical issues related to the Czech and Slovak Republics. It also has its own special library in Saint Paul, MN, containing hundreds of unique historical books, directories, historical documents, maps and other resources indispensable for genealogical research. For further contact information, please visit www.cgsi.org.
The second largest non-profit organization of this type is the Czech and Slovak American Genealogy Society of Illinois (CSAGSI), which headquarters in Sugar Grove, IL. The CSAGSI organizes monthly sessions and special regular workshops for those of Czech and Slovak origin interested in genealogy. The CSAGSI publishes a beautiful quarterly entitled "Koreny - Roots," where people can learn a lot on Czech and Slovak American history, find new contacts, or advertise genealogical queries. As is the same case with the previous society, the CSAGSI has its own special library where one can find resources usually unavailable in regular U.S. libraries. For further contact information, please visit www.csagsi.org.
The Czech and Slovak Genealogical Society of Arizona (CSGSA) provides educational assistance and awareness in learning about Czech and Slovak heritage and documents resources available for genealogical research. You may contact this society through its president, Ms. Dorothy Janca, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Texas Czech Genealogical Society was formed in Texas. Formerly a part of the larger Czech Heritage Society of Texas, whose newsletter "Cesky hlas - The Czech Voice" covers issues of traditional Czech culture and customs as well as a variety of genealogical issues, the Texas Czech Genealogical Society focuses exclusively on genealogical/ historical issues. For further information, please visit www.txczgs.org. The Czech Heritage Society of Texas - Bexar County Chapter is another branch with a strong focus on genealogy and family history. For further information, please visit www.czechs.org.
Another good resource for further contacts and information on Czech history and genealogy is the Czech Heritage Society of South Texas in Corpus Christi. For further information, please contact the society's president, Mr. Leroy Ryza, at 4330 Murphy, Corpus Christi, TX 78413.
Texas is also the home of two large and very active Czech cultural centers that may provide valuable historical and genealogical information and contacts: The Czech Cultural Center in Houston, TX (at www.czechcenter.org), which publishes the quarterly "The News of the Czech Center," and the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center, Inc. in La Grange, TX ( www.czechtexas.org, e-mail: email@example.com) which publishes a quarterly "Nas Cesky Zivot - Our Czech Life."
Many people from the California area who are interested in their genealogy are grouped into the California Czech and Slovak Club ( www.softcom.net/users/lilfurek, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.) The Club publishes a quarterly "CCSC Noviny - CCSA News."
The people of Maryland and surrounding areas may find valuable contacts through the Czech and Slovak Heritage Association of Maryland ( www.czslha.org.) A great number of its members are dedicated to genealogy and may provide valuable information and contacts.
The Czech Heritage Foundation, Inc. in Cedar Rapids, IA is one of the largest Czech heritage societies in the Midwest area and partly focuses on genealogy. The society publishes a quarterly "Nase Ceske Dedictvi - Our Czech Heritage," dedicated to Czech customs and history.
Another excellent contact may be found through the Nebraska Czechs, the largest Nebraska organization that includes several branches located in individual cities or communities with large Czech American populations, such as Lincoln, Wilber and others. For further information, contact Ms. Donna Gruntorad, President, Nebraska Czechs, Inc., 1422 Howard Place, Grand Island, NE 68803 ( www.nebraskaczechs.org, e-mail: email@example.com.)
Finally, very good directions to a great variety of genealogical websites both in the US and in Europe can be found on a website recently created by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences at www.genea.cz.
Other contacts for Genealogical Information:
Czech Mail List on Rootsweb: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~elainetmaddox/
Tom Hrnicirik - www.Czechusa.com. He provides Genealogical Research, personalized Ancestral Tours. E-mail Thrncirik@aol.com.
Family Tree Information in the Czech Republic-Contact: Olga Koliskova by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2225 Crestline Blvd.
Olympia, WA 98502
Gardiner, Duncan (Ph.D.)
Certified Genealogist, Accredited
12961 Lake Avenue
Lake wood, OH 44107-1533
Website: www.feefhs.org (Use the index to locate pages)