Onward to Our Past® Announces ‘Czech, Please!’ a New Genealogy Crowdsoucing Effort to Document America’s First Czech/Bohemian Immigrants

The following was written by the folks at Onward To Our Past® Genealogy Services:

Crowdsourcing to be used to identify, research, document, and preserve the first Czech/Bohemian immigrants to cities and towns across America.

Onward To Our Past® Genealogy Services Company is pleased to announce the first-ever initiative to identify, research, document, record, and preserve the names of the first Czech/Bohemian immigrants to cities and towns all across America. From the largest to the smallest, “Czech, Please!” will be a unique project in the history of Czech and American history.

Historically, the Czech immigrants and their communities have been some of the least studied of all the immigrant groups that came and established themselves in America. In an effort to bring to light one important historic aspect of the Czech/Bohemian immigrants, Onward To Our Past® has initiated this project called ‘Czech, Please!’.

Scott Phillips, founder and owner of Onward To Our Past® Genealogy Services Company located in Duneland Beach, Indiana, announced the initiation of this exciting, never before attempted project in Czech genealogy. Scott said “Never before has any attempt ever been made to identify, document, and preserve who the first Bohemian/Czech immigrant settlers were in the cities and towns across America. In our view, this should be an integral part of Czech immigrant and American history, but it is not….yet. Onward To Our Past® is coordinating a crowdsourcing initiative to make this history happen and be available, free of charge, to all genealogists in the future.”

Acknowledging that this undertaking is a huge project that will reach from New York to California and Texas to Minnesota, Onward To Our Past® is calling on all genealogy fans, especially those with Czech roots and heritage to help out by joining this crowdsourcing initiative.

Scott continued “‘Czech, Please!’ will have a significant geographic reach, touching almost every state in America. Consequently, we are seeking help from anyone and everyone who’s interested. The project’s hefty scope is what drove our decision to ask for crowdsourcing to make our vision become reality. Crowdsourcing should also make the project move faster and be a lot more fun. In order to help, all you need to do is post a comment on our website at http://onwardtoourpast.com/genealogy_blog/czech-genealogy/whos-on-first-bohemian-czech-genealogy-and-immigration-across-the-united-states.html, comment or private message on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/OnwardToOurPast, or email our offices directly at OnwardToOurPast@gmail.com. We will follow up with specific assignments that match your ‘Czech, Please!’ interests. We look forward to every Czech-American giving us a helping hand.”

In addition to being a regular genealogy columnist for Huffington Post United Kingdom Scott also writes a regular series for the e-publications of GenealogyBank.com. He has been published by Internet Genealogy Magazine, Family Chronicles Magazine, and organizations such as the National Genealogical Society, MyHeritage, Save Ellis Island, the Ohio Genealogical Society, National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library, Archives.com, Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International, Minnesota Genealogical Society, and others.

16 Comments

HI,
I do not know how much help I can be but would love to be included. I have been told that we have some Czech ancestors. My earliest relatives that arrived in the US are my 2 times great grandfather. Stephen Stepanek who immigrated to Hamilton, Butler Co., OH from Strompa, Hungary in 1905. Several of his daughters and relatives moved to Cleveland. My great grandfather, Johann Kraczl, immigrated to Hamilton, Butler Co., OH, from Mast, Austria/Hungary in 1912.

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    Diane, welcome and thank you for joining ‘Czech, Please!’
    You can be a great help I am sure!
    We are thrilled to have you with us in this exciting and new undertaking. As we seek to identify, research, document, and preserve the names of the earliest Bohemian/Czech immigrants to the cities and towns across America. Large and small – we want them all!

    We invite you to first check out the ‘Czech, Please!’ page on the Onward To Our Past® website to get some additional background on our project. We fully believe you are an integral partner in this exciting and first ever undertaking to find, document, and preserve a heretofore unknown aspect of Czech-American history!

    The results of our efforts will be stored electronically and be available free of charge to anyone with an interest in Bohemian/Czech ancestry, family history, genealogy, and immigration. It is exciting to be a part of history!

    We will stay in touch and please feel free to ask any questions you have along the way.

    On behalf of Onward To Our Past® and ‘Czech, Please!’
    Scott Phillips

    Like

“Czech” does not solely mean Bohemian! What about the Moravians and the Silesians? The three together comprise the former Czechslovakia. BTW, I tried the link to their site and found the Captcha image does not appear, so I couldn’t comment there.

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    Gene, you are right! I was using the old Kingdom of Bohemia so it does include Moravians and Silesians! Thanks too for the note on the captcha. I have my web-fellow on it!

    Like

My ancestors came from Bohemia around 1852, but the ausreisepass papers say AustroHungary, which was the controlling government at that time. Those papers are in German, not Czech. You have to get beyond that to see, for example, the church they affiliated with (Bohemian Brethern, or the like) and the group they lived with when they got here.

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    Karen, welcome and thank you for considering joining ‘Czech, Please!’
    You are SO right! The Hapsburgs did do their best to take over Bohemia!
    We are thrilled to have you with us in this exciting and new undertaking. As we seek to identify, research, document, and preserve the names of the earliest Bohemian/Czech immigrants to the cities and towns across America. Large and small – we want them all!

    We invite you to first check out the ‘Czech, Please!’ page on the Onward To Our Past® website to get some additional background on our project. We fully believe you are an integral partner in this exciting and first ever undertaking to find, document, and preserve a heretofore unknown aspect of Czech-American history!

    The results of our efforts will be stored electronically and be available free of charge to anyone with an interest in Bohemian/Czech ancestry, family history, genealogy, and immigration. It is exciting to be a part of history!

    We will stay in touch and please feel free to ask any questions you have along the way.

    On behalf of Onward To Our Past® and ‘Czech, Please!’
    Scodtt

    Like

Adding on to what Gene Wheeler said (Hi, cousin of my cousins), we are very knowledgeable about some Nebraska areas. I have done research for a descendant of the SECOND Czech to settle in Nebraska. My Srameks came in 1877, but no record until 1882. I suggest a clearer definition of what is meant by “earliest”, etc. The first dozen in a state? All before 1900? Right now I am not certain what the scope of this project is.

Are you aware of the compilation of listings by Frank Mares in the 1890s, detailing the majority of Nebraska and Kansas Czechs? Produced by Margie Sobotka. It does not include Omaha, however.

This is a great project. I am reminded of the French Canadian project, where college students were part of an effort to document the first four generation in Quebec. That was about 15 or 20 years ago.

Mary Sramek Levesque

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    Hi Mary, Thanks for the kind words about the project. By earliest we mean the first. Trying to identify and document the first Bohemian immigrants to settle in a city or town, or county in the case of rural areas. It would be excellent to expand from there to the first several for sure!

    Like

Diana! I am in shock. You are my cousin! I sent you a message and friend request. I hope to hear from you soon.

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Elizabeth Anselmo July 11, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Love this! My ancestors came from Bohemia in the mid to late 1800’s, first settling in Racine County, WI and then moving to McLeod County, Minnesota. My 3rd Great Grandfather was one of the 3 men who purchased land to create the Bohemian National Cemetery in Silver Lake, MN. Many of my ancestors were involved in the Bohemian Reading and Educational Society. Some remaining items from the society are held in the old Komensky School House near Silver Lake, MN. My (living) Grandfather helped incorporate the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society in St. Paul, MN in 1991. I would love to help with the project!

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    Welcome Elizabeth! That is wonderful information! There were certainly some very vibrant Czech settlements in Minnesota and the Komensky School House is a great lead! Thanks and here we go! Oh, thank your grandfather for me for getting CGSI going too! Scott

    Like

My Czech ancestors came to the U.S. and settled in central Kansas around 1870. The information I have about Ellsworth County, KS is not complete, but I would love to help out and work on learning more to help out.

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    Peggy, It sounds like you have an excellent start on Ellsworth! How wonderful and congratulations on that work! Great to have you help with this project!
    See our welcome below:
    Welcome and thank you for joining ‘Czech, Please!’
    We are thrilled to have you with us in this exciting and new undertaking. As we seek to identify, research, document, and preserve the names of the earliest Bohemian/Czech immigrants to the cities and towns across America. Large and small – we want them all!

    We invite you to first check out the ‘Czech, Please!’ page on the Onward To Our Past® website to get some additional background on our project. We fully believe you are an integral partner in this exciting and first ever undertaking to find, document, and preserve a heretofore unknown aspect of Czech-American history! http://onwardtoourpast.com/first-czechs.

    The results of our efforts will be stored electronically and be available free of charge to anyone with an interest in Bohemian/Czech ancestry, family history, genealogy, and immigration. It is exciting to be a part of history!

    We will stay in touch and please feel free to ask any questions you have along the way.

    On behalf of Onward To Our Past® and ‘Czech, Please!’
    Scott

    Like

Would love to help with this project. All of my husband’s family is from the Litomysl area and all settled around Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Iowa in the mid 1800’s. We have done a lot of research on his family and others.

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Sounds great need to know more about my CZech heritage.

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