BLAHNIK Family From Bohemia (Czech Republic)

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BLAHNIK HISTORY/ORIGINS


Origins of the Blahnik family in Chodsko
Libkov Blahniks
Background, maps
American Blahniks
External link to
Bohemian history
Czech American History (external link)
External link to Chod History - Bohemian settlement in Canada
About the Editor
Researchers

Do your own search of the Czech Archives with some Blahnik indexes created by this editor

Former kingdom, central Europe. Settled in the 5th cent. AD by the Czechs, it became tributary to Charlemagne's empire. It was part of the kingdom of Moravia in 870; on the dissolution of Moravia, it became a duchy with an important center at Prague. In the 10th cent. it expanded to include parts of Silesia, Slovakia, and Kraków. From the election of Ferdinand I as king in 1526, it remained under Habsburg rule until 1918. Following World War I, Bohemia declared independence along with Moravia and Slovakia. It was invaded by Germany in 1939 on the pretext that much of the population was German. After World War II it became a province of Czechoslovakia (later the Czech Socialist Republic). On the breakup of the E European bloc, it became part of the independent Czech Republic in 1993.

Origin of the Blahnik Family per Ladislav Blahnik in the 1960's

Blahniks are a Slavic people who originated in what is now the Country of the Czecho Republic.  The Blahniks come from the Chodove or Chods.  The Chods were a farming class of people who settled in the boundaries between Bohemia and Bavaria in about 1100 AD.  They were farmers but also responsible for guarding the boundaries between Germany and Bohemia. There were three geographic groups of Chods.  The man using the name Blahnik was Ondra and came from the Western part of Bohemia in a Village called Lipkov.  The name Blahnik is listed as one of the oldest families in the tribe of Chods of Domazlice (Taus).  These farmers were charged with guarding the exit over Klenci to Taus (Domazlice)  Vseruby Pass, Eisenstein Route to Klatovy.  Due to the importance of this service, they were allowed extra privileges by the King. The Chods of Taus used the hounds for guarding the borders and on their flags they had the emblem of the dog’s head as a sign of faithfulness and watchfulness. 

Dr. Frank Roubik in his voluminous scientific work which is called The History of the Chods from Domazlice (Taus), writes about the name ‘Blahnik’ on the list of the oldest families in the tribe of Chods. This family gave its name to a water mill and a big farm on the creek, Andelka, between the villages of Lhota and Pocinovice.  According to the old tax rolls it was a mill with one wheel and a farm of 60 acres, 9 teams of horses, 5 cows, 9 heifers, 16 sheep, and 20 pigs. This place is still called "Blahniky" or "By Blahniks," and is registered on all, even the oldest maps of the country and also on a very old map preserved in the Prague Castle. This farm was later divided into four parts among the children. This is the present condition, but the proprietors have different names. The mill was used until World War II (about 1940) but is not operating anymore. From this place the family of Blahnik spread into the neighboring counties of Klatovy and Domazlice. Some of them were owners of mills on Andelka Creek and Uhlava River. Some of them went to the city of Klatovy, others were farmers near the neighboring villages. In the 19th century and especially the 20th century they emigrated further into the cities of Bohemia. Among the most famous was Adelburt Christian Blahnik for whom a street was named in Prague as you noticed. He was a writer of historical plays. He was an historian who wrote the history of the theatre entitled, The World History of the Theatre and also The Idea And Nature of Theatrical Art and other books. There is one other man living in Prague (when Ladislav wrote this) whose name is Frank Blahnik, a popular accordionist, whose brother, Roman, is a music composer. Donna Blahnik, an actress, also lives in Prague. The Sons of Frank Blahnik played as children in the movies. East of Prague in the city of Sadska about 15 years ago lived a miller named Blahnik. He was the last miller in the family. Before that, there was a miller Blahnik in Dobrikov, ˝ hour (walking) west of Smrzovice. The last one in Dobrikov between the two World Wars sold his mill and bought a farm near Plzen

There are many Blahniks at present in the following cities besides in the counties of Klatovy and Domazlice: Plzen, Prague (Praha), Budweis (now Ceske Budejovice), Koeniggretz (now now Hradec Kralove), Jicin, Kuttenberg (now Hradec Kralove), Nachod, Cerveny Kostelec, Bruenn (now Brno). Moravska Ostrava, and other places. According to professions they are; clerks, teachers, professors, technicians, salesmen, doctors, pharmacist, a general, a Catholic priest, employees in industry, and others. In the meantime, the oldest probable mention of the Blahnik family is in the Latin writing of the Chods from November 15, 1430, in which is registered the Blahnik name.

Blasius Hoden de Pocinovice — It is possible that this is the Latinized name from which the name Blahnik developed. But because there is not exact proof for the above, we started our family chronicle with the year 1482 when in the village of Libkov, about 3 kilometers east of Smrzovice, lived in the free territory of the Chods, a farmer, Ondra Blahnik.  (Ladislav connects the Smrzovice Blahniks to Ondra) Ladislav believed that all Blahniks descend from Ondra.

Links to Chodsko
http://www.czechtourism.com/e/chodsko-folk-festival/
http://www.mrakovskysoubor.cz/en/index.asp

From http://www.czech.cz/en/Discover-CZ/Lifestyle-in-the-Czech-Republic/Tradition/Folk-costumes
FOLK COSTUMES
Chodsko is the only area in Bohemia where folk clothing is still preserved to this day . For Chodsko itself, it became the typical form of wedding dress from the 1860s and '70s with minor changes. Today, it is reserved only for exceptional occasions and concentrated in the immediate vicinity of Domažlice and Postřekov.

From the 1830s, the Chodsko folk costume developed in such a way that three different groups emerged: the upland (horský) and lowland (dolský) costumes as well as the less well-known Stankov costume. The "dolský" costume , worn in the valley villages around Domažlice (Mrákov, Klíčov, Tlumačov, Stráž, Újezd, Draženov, Pocinovice and Lhota), was more opulent, while the shape of the costume was focused above the waist. The costume of the upland villages, which was typical for communities around Postřekov, had a simpler form and it focused on the waist. In general, it retained a more antiquated character. Besides these two types of costume, a third Stankov type also existed. This, however, adopted elements of town fashion from neighboring Klatovy and Chotěšov.

The wedding form of folk costume from the second half of the 19th century, has perhaps also been preserved by folklore ensembles who present Chodsko folk customs and folklore at numerous ceremonial occasions. At Chod Castle in Domažlice there is a permanent exhibition, which also includes a figurative composition of a Chodsko wedding.

BACKGROUND / ORIGINS

The family of Blahnik seems to originate from South Western Bohemia.  It has been considered the  Austro-Hungarian Empire, Czechoslovakia, but the ancestors considered themselves Bohemian.  Domazlice to  Klatovy (South of Plzen) is the area we find most of the early Blahnik families lived.  It is on the border along the Bohemia Forest.  The families were considered part of the border guard.  The area is also West of the Bohemian - Moravian Highlands and borders the Bohemian Forest. 


Follow Domazlice shown on left side of map above just above the Bohemian Forest Boundary. 
Follow to a more detailed map below shows
Domazlice  along with the villages in the Blahnik Pocket of the 1400-1800's.

Click on map to see home towns of the Blahnik family.

 

 

Map of Chodesko from the Past


map submitted by Joel Blahnik

Michael Cwach writes:
This map shows the outline of Domazlice County as of 1960.
Underlined villages were "free" Chodish villages during the 13th to 17th centuries.

The map is delineated into three major areas.  Czech-speaking regions are designated by the coloured areas.  The surrounding area denotes where German-speaking Bohemians who spoke the North Bavarian dialect lived.

 One of the outcomes of the Second World War was the expulsion of this population from Bohemia in 1946.  The result is that this area has suffered a societal trauma, from which it has never fully recovered.
Chodsko, as commonly understood today, is confined to the area indicated by the darkest colour. 

This is somewhat misleading as the historical Chodsko covered a larger portion Bohemia along the Boheimian-Bavarian border.  Chodish that lived near the castle Primda in the town of Tachov, lost their Slavic identity and became Germanized.  This region is in the County of Tachov, north in the area delineated as Chodsko on the map.

More information can be gleaned from this map.  The name of the communities that have a population of 1000 or more are circled.  The solid black line designates the border between Bohemia and Bavaria.  Although there is no scale included on the map, relative distance can be better understood by recognizing that the distance from Klenci to Domazlice is about 7 km.  This map is most useful as it shows that Chodsko was once a Czech-language peninsula, surrounded by German-speaking populations in Bohemia and Baravia.

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AMERICAN BLAHNIKS

There are a number of Blahniks who came to live in America from Bohemia.  Two of the most well known families in NE Wisconsin have come to be known as the Smrzovice Blahniks and the Algoma BlahniksLadislav maintains that all Blahniks are related.  Recent research on the Algoma Blahniks has not yet connected this branch to the Ladislav research going back to the 1400's.  Ladislav's research show that the Blahniks were serfs, free men, owned farms and owned and operated water wheel mills.   In the 1800's many families moved to the United States, particularly the predominantly Bohemian settlements in Kewaunee, Brown and Manitowoc Counties in Wisconsin.   The Upper Peninsula of Michigan also saw Blahnik settlement.  It is not surprising that both branches of this family should reunite in the same area in the new Country of America.  See American Immigrants page for more Blahnik branches

This web is dedicated to the family of Blahnik as well as the research and genealogical work of many people.  Ladislav and Joel Blahnik did the primary work which allows many of us to elaborate on our American immigration and connection to the past.  Ladislav lived from 1906 until at least 1997 and was from Hradec Kralove, Czechoslovakia.  Ladislav had been the Governor of the North-Eastern section of Bohemia prior to WWII.   Under the Communist regime he spent 10 years as a political prisoner.  In his 1966 letter to Joel Blahnik, Ladislav indicated that he had come back from "10 years of involuntary cloister" 6 years ago (assuming 1960).  He did a tremendous amount of research to help us understand the Blahnik roots. 

 Ladislav had five Uncles and Aunts who immigrated to America.  Arthur and Joel Blahnik are Americans descended from these relatives.  Joel, Arthur and Leon traveled many times to Czechoslovakia and did research with Ladislav.  This family refers to itself as the “Blahniks of Smrzovice”.  The bulk of the research is focused on this branch of the family.  Fortunately, Ladislav was very thorough and documented all he could find on the distantly related Blahnik branches though the use of primary sources.  Part of what will be shared in this publication is the research we have available from Ladislav, Joel and Arthur.  Possibly the Algoma Blahniks will find their connection to this tree.  Both of these Blahnik branches settled in the same Bohemian settlements in NE Wisconsin during the 1800’s and many still live in the Counties of Kewaunee, Brown and Manitowoc.

Francis Blahnik is from Manitowoc, Wisconsin and a member of the Algoma Blahnik branch.  He is descended from Mathias (Matje) Blahnik, Sr. and Frances (Franciska) Worachek.  It is he who investigated the details of the Algoma Blahnik's prior to their arrival in America.  He did as much research as he could in the United States and then worked with the Institute of Slavic Studies to uncover church records, permission for the Blahnik family to emigrate to America, cadastral map of the village Starec from the year 1838 (containing Blahnik, George No.17) and Francis had some hand-written gothic scripts translated into modern German, then into English. 

Wenzel F. Blahnik began the collection of Algoma Blahnik data and did a tremendous job.  He even held some family reunions on his farm.  His family tree was the basis for my Blahnik database and has been confirmed via court house records, obituaries and other data.  The tree has been added to by many of the Blahnik descendent who visit this web and contribute their branch for the documentation and preservation of our Czech roots.  Wenzel held family reunions on his farm and bought land for a park that his daughter Evelyn later named the Blahnik Heritage Park.

Jon Blahnik has been researching his Wenzel - Anna Tic family in the Czech Republic and Agnes Hallama has done research on the Blahniks in Canada.  We now have 4 different Blahnik immigrant lines identified and they all come from the same area we refer to as the "Blahnik Pocket" SE of Domazlice in the Czech Republic.  This evidence seems to add to the notion that all Blahniks are related.  None of the male Blahniks have looked into using DNA tests to verify the claim, but there certainly are DNA Genealogy sites that do that sort of thing.  There are sites like http://www.worldfamilies.net/ or www.familytreedna.com/ that could be used to see if our various branches are indeed related to eachother.

 

     

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About the Editor & History of this web:

Lori M. (Spilman) Dollevoet9;
Daughter of Bette Jane Blahnik
8 from the Algoma/Starec family -
(Richard Joseph7 , FRANK JERRY6, GEORGE5, GEORG4, GEORGIUS3, JACOBUS2, WENCESLAUS1)

 People have asked why I do genealogy and create web pages.  I suppose my passion comes from a number of places.
 My mother knew a lot about our family and  loved to talk about her experiences.   I enjoyed her stories when I was young and would try to pretend what it would have been like to have actually been in that place and time.  My mother's Dad was Bohemian and her mother was French Canadian.  Mom said that people generally did not teach the children their languages because, at the time, one needed to be American and speak English.  It was their goal to become 'American'.  She found it amusing to find her mom's family would speak in French whenever it was something they didn't want the kids to hear or know about.  Then when she was at with her Dad's family, they would speak in Czech for the same reasons.  It is a shame they did not pass the language along, but that was not how people thought at that time.  My family lived a couple years with Grandpa & Great Grandma Blahnik when I was just a child.  Apart from a few words, I did not know the language.  There were family dishes that carried on the traditions.  I believe it was a combination of my family, my personal interests/experiences that made genealogy so interesting for me.

I grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin and received my B.A. In sociology from Lawrence University in the same town.  My formal introduction into the Blahnik Genealogy came from my mother, Bette (Blahnik) Nickasch.  She worked at Lawrence University in the 1970's.  Professor Mojmir Povloney was an acquaintance of Joel Blahnik.   Dr. Povloney  told her about the research Joel and Ladislav Blahnik and  had done on the Smrzovice Blahnik family.  Joel had  an artistic  family tree going back to the 1400's  Unfortunately, our Algoma branch was not connected to this tree.  This tree intrigued me and made me wonder about my own Blahnik family and how we might connect.  This was my first introduction to Joel as a primary Blahnik Researcher.

My Grandpa Blahnik died in 1981 and my mother found many family photos in his house.  Unfortunately we were unable to identify everyone pictured.  Wenzel F. Blahnik held a very nice family reunion on his farm in 1983.  I was not able to come to this reunion but my mother and oldest sister attended.  My mother was able to view the books that Wenzel created documenting the Algoma Blahniks.  He collected articles, photos and laid everything out as a family tree.  Wenzel had made a huge undertaking.  Wenzel was kind enough to identify many of the people in the photo albums my Grandpa Dick owned.  Many photos appear on these web pages.  Wenzel was the primary researcher for the Algoma family and today his Grandson Scott has possession of  all of Wenzel's original research (as of 2011). 

In the mid 80's I earned a Master's degree in Psychology from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.  I returned to the Appleton, WI area and have worked here as a Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor since 1986.   My husband and I purchased a 90 acre farm in 1987 outside of Fremont, WI.  We had a cattle/horse  ranch for a while and later became a game farm.     We have more on our web site,  Lorken Farms, but basically Ken and I love wild life and have restored the 90 acres to pine trees, ponds, wild flowers and grasses.  We also enjoy our dogs and cats.

I became a Web Master in 1997 and began making some genealogy web pages.  (In addition to this Blahnik web page I have a number of other family genealogy sites and have become a member of DAR.)  My mother, sister and I visited Wenzel F. Blahnik (Algoma) a few times and he shared the information he collected.  He allowed me to copy his research onto my computer and thought that sharing his information would only help to unite the Blahnik family.   I wanted to make the information free and encourage other genealogist to contribute to the overall Blahnik Family page.  I have been delighted to hear from all of the various members of the Blahnik and associated families.  Those people have helped provide information to compile this web.  Additional searches have been done in records offices, online and even abroad.    See partial list of contributors below.  The Gedcom from FTW does record who submits information or the name of the source  used to compile the data.

The web site was published in 1999 by http://AccessGenealogy.com  I developed and continue to maintain the sight.  The web page made it possible for many Blahnik family members to connect and share information and photos.   America is still a young country.  As generations pass it will become much easier to forget our immigration roots.   Hopefully this page will allow our family to keep in touch with our Czech roots for Generations to come. 

If you have more to share or correct, please send a message.

Lori Dollevoet

 

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RESEARCHERS
A special thanks to all of those who have added information to make this tree possible including, but not limited to:


Fellow Blahnik genealogists that have contributed to these pages include:
SMRZOVICE BLAHNIKS:
Ladislav Blahnik, August 30, 1906-now deceased.  Czechoslovakia. Primary Blahnik Researcher
Joel, Arthur and Leon Blahnik traveled to Czech and worked with Ladislav. 
 
Joel's web page Joel Blahnik for the Czech Music Alliance
Dorothy Janca
Robert Burton Blahnik
Deb Wojan
Joyce Pelnar
Nancy Janda

ALGOMA/LOUCIM BLAHNIKS:
Wenzel F. Blahnik
Sept 12, 1913-Feb 7, 2001. Primary Algoma Blahnik Researcher of American line.
Francis Leroy Blahnik from Manitowoc, primary Algoma Blahnik researcher for the old country.
Robert (Bob) Blahnik keeps up with adding obits and other information he finds in newspapers.
Paul Anthony Blahnik who also collected the works of  Wenzel F. Blahnik in 1985.
Robert John Blahnik from Illinois
Joe Blahnik
Eric Hucek
Pat Staeven
Peggy Blahnik
Judy Rice

Lori Dollevoet, editor and coordinator of this web, and researcher for this and other Blahnik Branches.

WINNIPEG, CANADA BLAHNIKS
Roy Rushka for Frank Blahnik and the Winnipeg, Canada connection
Agnes Hallama for Barbora Blahnik of Winnipeg, Canada - u Blahniku
 

Wencil (Anna Tic) Blahnik family  born May 26, 1848 from Stanetice #25, to Carlton Township, Kewaunee Co, WI
Jane Paplham
Jon Blahnik (commissioned research in Czech Republic)

Other Blahnik researchers include
Zdenek Blahnik from Czech has also helped with spelling corrections and holds reunions in the Czech Republic.
Gary Tremble for the family of Florence Blahnik Balza

Holly Edgell for Joseph Blahnik Menominee County, MI

John Kracha for Mathias Blahnik born 1823 in Bohemia, died in Wisconsin, USA
Sue Dorn, Ashland Blahniks

 

The researcher that Francis Blahnik hired in 2002 was David Kohout Janackovo at Nabrezi 57, Prague 5, Czech Republic, 150 00.  He indicated he could go back further with the George Blahnik/Katharina Blaha lines and his web page is at http://genealogypro.com/dkohout.html and his email d[email protected] 

Agnes Hallama also hired David to take the Canada Blahniks back to Simon (XI1c) BLAHNIK.

If you get more information we would love to share it.
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If you are looking for research information about the Starz area - Pilsen, Moravia check out this web page:  www.netway.at/ihff/index.htm/ 

From: "Ing. Felix Gundacker" <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: [GERMAN-BOHEMIAN-L] Starz, District Ganterer, Bohemia
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 1999 09:43:39 +0200

Starz, now Starec, parish KDYNE.
records are in the archives of PLZEN/Pilsen and begin in 1635 and are indexed
since 1718. You can write to the archives; address you will find on my site.

With best regards,
Felix Gundacker
Professional genealogist
IHFF Genealogie Gesellschaft mbH
A-1190 WIEN, Pantzergasse 30/8
AUSTRIA
Tel = 011 43 1 369 97 29
Fax = 011 43 1 369 97 30
email: <[email protected]>
<http://www.netway.at/ihff/index.htm/>
new books: <http://www.netway.at/ihff/werbe.html>

http://www.cgsi.org/research/professionals Czech Genealogical Soc International

-Michael Cwach contacted Tony Knodrys  in Czech.  for Genealogical research for Jon Blahnik.
-Another Researcher Mike Cwach located Jan Dus at
www.revjan.com Genealogical and Travel Services

A translation from http://www.genea.cz/informace/genealogove/ gives a list of professional genealogists.  Click for English
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New additions/corrections,  along with sources and suggestions are welcome:  email