Blahnik Family History
Jakub Blahnik, son of Jakub & Katerina of Lhota, inherited the mill and with the approval of the gracious lords, took over after his deceased father and. still-living mother, on March 15, 1737- - 1/4 of the farm goes to Lhota, which farm his father, Jakub Blahnik took over after his father, Jiri Blahnik took over the mill (Jirik was probably identical with the Jirik from Klatovy). Jakub Blahnik took over the 1/4 of the farm for 155 pieces of gold which sum of money was supposed to be divided among the other heirs. Each was supposed to get 30 pieces of’ gold and. the installments of 5 pieces of gold each year were payable on the day of St. Havla. Jakub Blahnik also promised that as a son, he will give to his mother the annuity as long as she lived and he is going to take over all the duties he had toward the King and the nobility, The agreement was arranged in the presence of’ Vaclav Veselaka and. Vita Blahnik, both mill proprietors and. witnesses close to Pocinovice and Lhota on the high office in Kout. According to the agreement the money was divided as follows:
Children of Jakub Blahnik obtained on March 15,1737, a total of 155 pieces of gold: Jana, 30 pieces; Vaclav, 30 pieces; Jakub, 30 pieces; Ondra, who was in the army, 15 pieces; Anna, 10 pieces; Katherina, 10 pieces; Jakub, 30 pieces. Total—155.Jan Blahnik stayed in the mill. Vaclav was first on the mill in Petrovice, afterward, in Bezdekov on the mill #25, and afterwards in Janovice as a hand. His wife, Marie Anna, was in Bezdekov, where he worked 15 years in the mill. She testified on June 16, 1775, during the dispute between the Janovice residents and the nobility from Bezdekov about their privilidges. From the record we found out that she was 35 years old and that she was from Janovice. When she was young she worked as a cook for Mr. Smidu in the Bystrickem castle. (District archives Publicum 1775, now in the archives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Prague).
In 1760 there remained 15 pieces of gold after the deceased Ondra Blahnik who died in the War, and 20 pieces of gold after the deceased. brothers (?) which is a total of 35 pieces of gold. This sum of money was divided as follows: Vaclav-7, Anna-7, Katherina-7, The purchasing Jakub-7, and. children represented by their guardians-7.
At that time a record similar to that made with Jakub who was a son of’ Jakub who was a son of Jakub Blahnik was also made with the other partner in the mill (?), the owner of 1/4. It was an agreement between two Jakub Blahniks. In the property book in Lhota on page 194, we can read the following record:
"According to the property record. book on Lhota, page 260, Jakub Blahnik took over after his father, Jiri Blahnik (1719), the mill with 4 acres of fields located amongst the Pocinovice fields across the bridge (behind the bridge), and 2 bushels of seed. Jakub Blahnik, because he was poor, was allowed to use the mill for himself without pay. Because of this priviledge, recently a dispute occurred between him and the others. This dispute was settled on a friendly basis. In the future he was supposed to help in the mill and in the fields belonging to the mill, including 4 acres and 2 bushels and 1/4 of the farm. He was to use these fields and the profit from the mill was to then be divided equally, while everyone participated in the paying for the operating costs of the mill as well as in the fulfillment of the duties to the Emperor and. to the nobility." This agreement was arranged in the office of Kout in March 1737 and registered in the property books of Lhota on page 194.
The son of Jakub, Jan, married. Ursula, whose family name is not known. Jan died prior to 1762. On June 25th of this same year his widow, Ursula, received 5 peices of gold and received another 5 pieces on December 11, 1762. On December 10, 1763, the son of the deceased Jan Blahnik obtained in the place of his father 5 pieces of’ gold in the office of Kout and all these payments were erased from the book of debts. On October 31, 1766, Jakub Blahnik paid to the children of the deceased Jan, the heirship of 5 pieces of gold. On October 16, 1768, Jakub paid instead of Ursula, to her children the heirship of 5 pieces of gold.
The brother of Jan and son of Jakub, was Jakub who purchased himself a dwelling in the village of Loucim. The record is dated February 12, 1724. Already on April 9, 1722, Jakub Blahnik worked and owned the farm in Loucim (archive of Czech County, property book #64, page 56, archive of Bystricky).
On April 24, 1751, with the approval of the gracious noble, Josef Doroty, widow Hubatiusove of Kotnova, born Zumsandtove of Sandberg, Lord of Beharov, Lipkov, Loucim, and Smrzovice, the trade agreement between Ondra Englernann, as a seller of a tavern and a farm, to Jakub Blahnik and his wife, Anna Marie, was arranged. The sale price was 450 pieces of gold (Book of’ Property #64, page 18 in the Country Archive).Simon Blahnik, son of Jakub, who was taking over the mill, through the mayor, Jan Koutnik of Lhota, testified on March 4, 1778 that he paid to the heirs of Jan Blahnik, 7 pieces of gold as well as 17 pieces of gold remaining after his brother and his own share of 7 pieces of gold, which totals 31 pieces of gold..
After the deceased Jan Blahnik he left 2 children. His son, Jan, became the founder of the first branch of the Blahnik family in the village of Smrzovice (but not in house #16. In the marriage records of the church in Loucim the marriage between Jan Blahnik and Dorota, daughter of Kristiana Savlick--cottager from Smrzovice (maybe house #9), was dated February 1, 1785. The second child of Jan Blahnik from the Blahniks’ Mill #87 under the Koutsky Dominion was a daughter Dorota who married prior to 1803, Jacob Burese, a farmer from Loucim #10. As the populus in this country was growing, families were assigned house numbers in each respective village; therefore this system of house numbers was more exacting for there could be 3 or 4 families of the same name who could be living in the same village or area. This is true even today. In Loucim’ s mill was the proprietor, Martin Blahnik, who married on February 20, 1792, when he was 25 years old, Dorota Peyerovou (Bayerovou), daughter of the mill proprietor at Ouborskeho when she was 23 years old. Present at the marriage were Andreas, tavern proprietor from Janovice, and Mikulas Fischer, blacksmith from Beharov. (record #4, page 308 of the Church of Janovice n. Uhl). In 1806 the name of Martin Blahnik from Lhota still appeared in records.
Petr, who was the son of Simor, farmed on "Blahnikcky (meaning ’By Blahniks’), which was 1/4 of Blahnik’ s original property which was part of the divided overall property including the mill. Today on the same place called "Under the Novy Mlynem" are 4 farms (on the same place were in the 18th century Blahnik operated the mill).
After they sold the mill located near Lhota, Blahniks purchased for themselves part of the mill operated by the Petrak family which was also one of the oldest miller families. This mill is quite distant from Lhota and, in fact, is closer to Pocinovice than to Lhota. But regardless of the distance, it is within the village of Lhota limits. The mill is located in a wonderful valley with a beautiful view of the mill to be seen from the top of the hill where there are linden trees and Loucim’s church.
In 1719, Petr Blahnik was in the army. When he returned he married a woman who is unknown to us and on November 22, 1745, with permission of the nobility, he sold. 1/4 of the farm to his beloved son, Vaclav, for the sum of 380 pieces of gold. Vaclav was to give to his father 3 acres of field located under Hurka (hill), 1 cow, 1/2 of the garden, 4 plots of cabbage & beets, & 1/3 of the fruit. Vaclav promised also to pay to his brother, Bartolomeji, 10 pieces of gold and take care of all duties in connection with the ownership.
Out of the descendents of Vaclav, Vit was the miller proprietor of’ the Blahniks’ Mill and he had a wife, Magdalena, and together they had a daughter, Lidmila, who was born on October 19, 1722.From his father, Petr, Vaclav inherited 1/4 of the Blahnik’s farm #90 and he and his wife had, as far as we know, 3 children: Anna Dorota born on March 3, 1756, and Jan, who was born on April 9, 1758. Jan later became a farmer in Pocinovice in house #32 and married. Katerina, daughter of Jakub Hubene from Pocinovic #32 on February 22, 1786. The 3rd child of Vaclav was Martin who was the cottager in #16 in Smrzovice. Martin was born on September 20, 1760 and. founded the still living branch of the Blahnik family in Smrzovice, house #16.
Before 1785, Martin, the son of Vaclav Blahnik who was the cottager from ‘Blahniky’ along with his wife, Marketa who was from Sxnrzovice, married Katerina Votruba, daughter of Jakub Votruba, the farmer and mayor in Smrzovice. Martin became to be the founder of the branch of the Blahnik family living still in house #16, which is built on the lot located. on the yard of house #17--‘u Votruba.’ This branch of the Blahnik family is still living there today.
Supplementary note; Both farms, #16 & #17, formed in the past one large agriculture property which was formed by the division of the Smrzovice nobility Dominion. It seems to be true since the location of all fields belonging to both farms were until 1924, with-in the fields of the dominion.
The family name, Votruba, was already long known in Smrzovice. A very long time ago the large Votruba farm was divided between 2 sons and for each of them they built the buildings and since that time, it became to be called ‘the Upper Votruba’ and. ‘the Lower Votruba’ farms. With the time passing when in the farm #16 was already the Blahnik family, people stopped to use the name Votruba and what remained was the designation; ‘Upper-#17’ & ‘Lower-#16.’
The fields were originally divided between both sons very accurately. From each field of the original farm either 2 or 4 plots were made in such a way that soil - - quality-wise and work-wise, both fields were equal.
Sister of Martin, Marketa (from Blahniks’ Mill) married Jan Votruba, a farmer from the farm #17 in Smrzovice, who was the son of Jan Votruba.
In their marriage, Martin, with his wife, Katerina, had 7 children: Jakub, born on March 21, 1785; Marketa, born November 23, 1787 and who died when she was very young; Martin, born October 20, 1790; Marketa, born January 1, 1792; Anna Marie, born September 7, 1794; Petr, born on August 20, 1797 who died very young; and Petr, born on April 22, 1802.Jakub Blahnik, born on March 21, 1785, operated the farm at #16 after the death of his father, Martin Blahnik. Jakub had 5 sons; Vaclav, who married into house #23 in Dobrikov; Jakub, who married into farm #10 in Rudolice; another son (unknown named) who married in Polenka close to Chudenice on the farm which was called ‘Suchcke’; another son (unknown named) who married into the farm in Stanetice (that name Blahnik is still in Stanetice and is still in existence); and son, Josef, born on August 14, 1829, who took over after his father, Jakub, the farm #16 in Smrzovice. This son, Josef, married. Magdalena Votruba who was born on January 18, 1832, the daughter of Matouse Votruba of Smrzovice # 17. Josef Blahnik died in Smrzovice on September 22, 1912. His wife, Magdalena, who after his death moved to Lhota to live with her daughter, Barbara, who was married to Halama (u Sloupiku). Magdalena died on February 27, 1914. Both she and her husband are buried in the family grave of Blahnik in the Loucim church cemetary.
Vaclav Blahnik, who married in Dobrikov into house #23, had a daughter, Katerina. His wife took on a lover who was a railroad employee and came to America. Vaclav Blahnik gave the farm later to his daughter who then married Matouse Mrazk, who later sold that farm and purchased another farm in Struhadlo close to Klatovy in house #22. Mrazk died in 1933 as a widower at the age of 81 because of the illness of ‘marasmus’ (birth records in Bezdekov). Vaclav Blahnik, himself, after he gave the farm to Katerina, who was married to Mrazk, bought himself a cottage in Soustov where he lived alone and worked with Novaks in Soustov. (Novak, himself, was a miner and worked in a mine). Novak had a daughter who had a baby by Vaclav Blahnik. The child was recorded in Novak’ s name, (maybe because he took over the duty of its upbringing). Anyway, the name Novak could also be after his single daughter (the mother). The mother of’ the baby was sent to America.
Editorial note; observe one of the many reasons of the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of America in terms of its European settlers. Most directly observe the names of Novak, Blahnik, Halama, etc. who settled in the middle 1800’s around the Kewaunee, Wisconsin area.
Josef Blahnik, born January 1, 1829, and who was the proprietor in house #16 in Smrzovice, had with his wife, Magdalena, 8 children. The eldest was Josef, who when he was only 15 years old, during the period of ‘Moving Fever,’ took off to America where he was a farmer and because already as a boy he loved music, he became to be a leader of his own family band. This eldest son, Josef, in America in Kewaunee, Wisconsin had 6 children who were in sequence: Adolph, Emily, Joseph, Alios, Frank, & Otto. He also had 5 brothers and sisters who moved, to America. They were; Jan, Vaclav (who was a blacksmith), Frantishek (who was a cabinetmaker and had a wife from the house #24 in Smrzovice called ‘od Tondu’), Anna (who married Josef Koutnik from Lhota), and Katherine (who married Kveton from Lhota--’od Stasku’). Another sister, Barbara married Vaclav Halama who was a cottager in Lhota (‘u Sloupiku’). The farm #16 in Smrzovice went to a younger brother, Jakub, who was born on January 5, 1863. This brother, Jakub, married on May 20, 1890, Anna, who was the daughter of Martin Sedlak, a farmer from Cernikov in house #55. The father, Jakub, of these children died in Klatovy (in the hospital) on September 21, 1931, and his wlfe, Anna, died in Smrzovice on July 2, 1936. They are buried in the Blahnik family grave in the Loucim church yard cemetery.It is the purpose of this long autobiography to search out the development of the 5 brothers and sisters who came to America. We can account here only for their immediate families as they blossomed here on American soil. This development is as follows: Vaclav (Wenzel) moved to Oshkosh, Wisconsin and had 10 children.
Jan (John) died in 1918 and had 8 children. We do not know for sure where he settled--perhaps the Blahnik Road just south of Poland, Wisconsin between Green Bay, Wisconsin & Kewaunee, Wisconsin was named after him. (ed. note: during the summer of 1976, Joel Blahnik found out that this ‘Blahnik Road’ was named after the first settler on that road who was a ‘John Blahnik.’ We know of his descendents west of Kewaunee, but do not know exactly if this is the same ‘John Blahnik’ who was brother to these mentioned here within.
Frantishek (Frank) had 5 children. Again we do not know the area of his settlement in America. The sister, Anna, who married Josef Koutnik, and settled in America had 14 children. Exact settlement, again, is not known.
The sister, Katherine, who married Kveton, had 3 children, and, again, we do not know their development here in America.
Another interesting footnote is to observe that from the period of 1865-1927, 82 families from the Smrzovice area moved to the United. States, presumably most of them to Wisconsin, for Kewaunee County, during this time, was predominantly 80% Czech heritage.
The remaining brother, Jakub Blahnik, with his wife, Anna, brought up 8 children: Petr, born 1891, still lives and resides in Kutna Hora; Josef, born in 1893 (in the past lived in Cesky Velenice, later in Prague Holecovice, and. then in Beharov); Jakub, born in 1895, on the farm #16 in Smrzovice after his parents; Jaroslav, born in 1897, lived in Kydne, and died on March 19, 1966; Otakar, born in 1899, lived in Prague-Nusle; Vaclav, born in 1904, lived In Starikov as a banker from 1927 to 1962 and now lives in Kout na Suinava); Ladislav, born in 1906 who still lives in Hradec Kralove and who assembled this entire project of the Blahnik family history; Josefa, born in 1909, married Vizmerova, and lives in Kout na Sunava, house #66. (editorial note; it was the pleasure of Joel & Arthur Blahnik, who during the summer of 1973, personally met and lived in the homes of Petr, Ladislav, Josefa, Vaclav, and Otakar. On Joel’s first trip to Czechoslovakia in 1963, he was fortunate to meet Jakub - the first direct link in over 100 years, and since that time, Jakub has died.)
In 1930, Jakub Blahnik took over after his parents the farm in #16 in Smrzovice, and married. Anna, born Kejedla from Pocinovice. They brought up 3 children: Ladislav, born in 1931, now living in Moravska Ostrava; Jindrich, born in 1934 and living in Smrzovice #16; and Danuse, born in 1942.Afterwards
The characteristic occupation of the family in the past was more milling than farming. As the family was branching out, the farming prevailed. The family gave the name to the mill located between Lhota & Pocinovice in Chodsko. In place of that mill, 4 houses were built and. in the oldest known maps of the area that place is called "Blahniky" or "Na Blahnika." The Blahnik family was spread mainly in the Kydne area in the old. Chodsko region of the Koutske Dominion. Later, in the Klatovy region, the family was spread in the vicinity of the King’s city of Klatovy in the dominion of Bezekov, Bystrice, Chudenice, Prestice, Roupovice, Velhartice, in the Pribram region and later in several other isles.
As we could judge according to the sources available we could find the family of Blahniks in Bendekov, Benov u Klatov, Dobrjkov, Dolane u Kydne, Drelavice, Hlubok z Kydne, Janovice nad Uhlavou, Kydne, Klatovy, Kout, Klicov, Koryta, Kralovske Hvoz (Hajd), Lhota, Lipkov, Loucim, Luby, Malechov, Blahnik Mlyne (Blahniks' Mill), Novem .Mlyne u Petrovice, Pocinovice, Poborovice, Polenca, Pusperk, Cerveny Poricim, Roupov, Slavikovice, Strazov, Stepanovice, Svihov, Tajanov, Trhanov, Tlumacov, Velbartice, Volduche na Pribramske, Volenov, Smrzovice, & Domazlice.
Archives of the Czech Country in Prague; Tax Laws dated 1652—1654; Book of Trade Records in Klatovy & Property Records
Archives of Hostac Museum in Klatovy; Records of the Kout Dominion
Church office in Loucim, Janovice, Klatovy, Polen, & others. Birth records, and. marriage records, and death records
Family records collection of principle Vaclav Petrak from Klatovy; Rodopisny archives
Book of Dr. F. Roubik, "History of Chods in the Vicinity of Domazlice"
Book of Dr. J. Vancura, "History of the King’s City of Klatovy"
Handwritten records: K. Polak, "Klatovy tradition in 1934," & the "Book of Memories", of Josef Weinfurt from Bukova
Verbal communications of Mr. Vaclav Blahnik from Stankov and Mr. Ladislav Blahnik from Hradec Kralove
The sources were found and the family history was compiled by Mr. K. Polak from Klatovy, born in Bezdekov near Klatovy in 1944, and the same Karl Polak compiled the table including names and dates called, "The Spread of Blahniks 1482-1944." He also drafted the family tree of Blahniks 1482-1944. The finished work was given to Jaroslav Blahnik in Kydne. Supplementary remarks were done by Vaclav Blahnik. Further additions concerning items of explanation were made by Joel Blahnik.Additional remarks by Mr. Ivan Trubacek, the translator: The division of Votruba’ s farm in paragraph 88 into equal division was done probably in 1782 when there was a marriage of Martin & Katerina and also Jan plus Marketa. This means that the marriage between 2 families was a double; Martin Blahnik married Katerina Votrtiba, and. Jan Votruba married Marketa Blahnik.
The mentioned word ‘grousche’ (money). Grouch was a currency used in mid-evil Europe--in all of Europe, a tie-over from the Roman Empire, to the King in Prague and later to Vienna. There is no comparison as to today’s currency, but it must have been quite a high value (for several hundred grouch you could buy quite a sizable property). In Czech language there is a word ‘kopá’ which means 5 dozen. This is why so many times the number of 60 grouch is used. Another currency or fraction of currency was ‘kretzars'--it was 1/100 of a gold piece. Abbreviated as kr. (like our pennies to a dollar).
Paragraph 40 mentions Lord Lamminger (refer to the legend about him). In paragraph #16 the Czech word ‘dedinam’ is used. This word means village but it appears that in the past it referred to the fields. So in those early paragraphs, as small village or dwellings it was translated, but later on it focused on fields-substitute that context.
Especially the first part of the family history up until paragraph 60-70 was, more or less, archic (mid-evil Czech words), etc., which made translation difficult, but based on Latin knowledge. References were also difficult to translate (some abbreviations unknown and were left as they were).
Lee Blahnik's Website