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Tracking Down Vojtech’s Birth

Posted by dwsuddarth on 3 October 2016

Been a while since I put anything on here! Been busy this Summer tracking down information regarding Vojtech Cerny. In my last post about Vojtech, Obituary of Vojtech Cerny, I related how I was able to obtain Vojtech’s obituary in the Denni Hlasatel, a Czech newspaper in Chicago. In the obituary, it mentioned that Vojtech was born in Kojakovice, Trebon District in Bohemia. Knowing that, plus Vojtech’s date of death and age at death from his death certificate, I was able to calculate his approximate birth date as April 1850, and so off to the Czech Archives website I went.

I immediately went to the Roman Catholic Parish registers for the parish in which Kojakovice was located and after a bit of searching, was able to find his baptism record (I have broken it into two halves below):

Vojtech Cerny Baptism

Vojtech Cerny baptism 2

Now, of course, the only problem was to figure out what all that writing said!

After a bit of work, I was able to (roughly) translate the record. The first two columns give the birth and baptism dates, in this case, 13 April 1850. It was common to have a baby baptized as soon as possible after the birth, as infant mortality was high and you did not want the child to die without being baptized. So, the father and sponsors would take the child from the mother shortly after birth and go to the church to have the child baptized.

The next column over is the name of the priest performing the baptism. Then we have the child’s name, Vojtech Cerny. The next column is ‘K’ for Catholic. The two ‘m’s are, respectively, the sex of the child (male) and the abbreviation for manzelske (legitimate).

Next is information about the father. This translates roughly as follows (I have inserted the meaning of abbreviations in parentheses):

Vit Cerny farmer of Kojakovice c. (house) 37. m. (legitimate) son of + (symbol for deceased – the person whose name follows is deceased) Vavrince Cerny farmer of Kojakovice c. (house) 37. and Markety nee Koranda v (in) (I am unsure of this next word) farmer daughter of Petrovice c. (house). 15.

Following that is information about the mother:

Anna, m. (legitimate) daughter of + (deceased) Vojtecha Kojan v. (in) Janecek farmer of Kojakavice c. (house) 23. and Alzbety nee Ctortnik (unsure of this name) farmer daughter of Kojakovice c. (house) 24 p. T. (I believe this means District or Domain Trebon).

The next column gives the town and house number of the birth, in this case, Kojakovice house number 37 in Trebon.

The final column is the information about the sponsors. I have not deciphered the writing on this yet to figure out the names and other information.

As you can see, there is a lot of genealogical information just in this one record! This one record has given me information not just one, but two generations further back! We have Vojtech’s parents names (Vit Cerny and Anna Kojan), as well as the grandparents’ names (Vavrince Cerny & Markety Koranda and Vojtecha Kojan & Alzbety Ctortnik). I am sure that I have misread some of these names, but with a little more work, should be able to get them.

With all this information available in these records, I will continue to search through the parish registries and work on translating the information. If anyone has any corrections to anything I have translated, please let me know!


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