University of Minnesota

Cwach, Michael, Collection

Finding Aid

VITRAGE

IHRC

Immigration History Research Center, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota

Descriptive summary

Dates: 1874-1880
Abstract: Two digital images of pages from the parish record book of the Saint Nicholas Church in Sevetin, southern Bohemia, in today's Czech Republic. Included are transcripts and translations into English of entries for the years 1874-1880 which document emigration from the region to America at the time.
Quantity: 3 files
Language: Czech, English
Collection ID: IHRC3907

PROVENANCE

Collection acquired from Michael Cwach in 2010.

HISTORICAL SKETCH


COLLECTION CONTENTS

Transcript / Translation
Parish record book, Saint Nicholas Church, Sevetin, Bohemia, 1878-1879 entries
Parish record book, Saint Nicholas Church, Sevetin, Bohemia, 1879 entries

 

Stehování do Ameriky ze Ševetínska

Pramen: farní kronika Farního kostela Svatého Mikuláše v Ševetíne

Emigration from the Ševetín area (southern Bohemia) to America

Source: Parish records of the Saint Nicholas Church in Ševetín, southern Bohemia, Czech Republic

 

Rok 1874

V nemecky psané cásti kroniky (pametní knihy) je zmínka o první rodine , která se vystehovala do Ameriky ze Ševetína. Tím prvním byl chalupník a soucasne kostelník Smíšek s rodinou . (Note by Mike Cwach's informers.)

 

Year 1874

In the section of the chronicle written in German, there is mention of the first family that emigrated from Ševetín to America. The first emigrant, a cottager who also served as sexton, was a Smíšek with his family. (Note by Mike Cwach's informers.)

 

Str. 125 (Page 125)

Rok 1877

Toho roku byla dobrá úroda, ale ceny obilí byly velmi nízké a ke konci roku dále klesaly... Proto ke konci roku velká tísen penežitá zmáhala se mezi rolnictvem o to více, že dane porovnané k nepatrným cenám obilí byly náramne veliké a proto tak klesly ceny rolnických usedlostí a lid se pocal zase casteji stehovat do Ameriky.

This year the harvest was good, but the grain prices were very low and were still falling at the end of the year. As a result, great financial problems spread among the farming people. It was made worse by taxes which became very high relative to the prices of grain. Consequently, values of farmsteads fell considerably, and people began to move to America more frequently.

 

Str. 133

Rok 1878

Se zmáhající se chudobou zmáhala se mezi zdejším lidem chut k odstehování se do Ameriky. Snad v celé Ceské zemi není ani jednoho okresu, ze kterého by bylo již tolik lidstva odešlo do Ameriky, jak jest okres Lomnický (u Trebone), jmenovite z farnosti Ševetínské tam odešlo již mnohá predešlá léta mnoho lidí, podruhu, chalupníku i sedláku. (Ovšem z vetšího dílu lenivých a nedbalých).

Tito již pred 14 – 20 lety usedlí kolonisté americtí píšou sem na své známé a príbuzné velmi lichotivá a lákavá psaní o svobode v Americe, takže lid, jakoby spásy své hledal v Americe, houfne se tam stehuje. V mesíci kvetnu 1878 odešlo ze Ševetína z osady 5 rodin, vcelku 27 osob, dílem do Chicaga, dílem do státu Minesotta za svými príbuznými a známými.

As the poverty increased, the people in the area were becoming more and more interested in immigration to America. Perhaps there is no other county in the entire Czech Kingdom [Bohemia and Moravia] that would see more people leave than Lomnice County (near Trebon). From the Ševetín parish in particular there have been many people in a number of previous years – farmhands, cottagers and farmers (but mostly those who were lazy and sloppy).

These American settlers, who left fourteen to twenty years ago, continue to write very enticing and inviting letters about freedom in America, which makes people seek almost their salvation in America, as they move there in droves. During the month of May 1878, five families, totaling twenty-seven persons, departed from the village of Ševetín, some to Chicago, some to the state of Minnesota, following their relatives and friends.

 

Str. 142

Rok 1879

V tomto roce stehovalo se zase více rodin ze Ševetína a osady do Ameriky.dílem do státu Minesotta a dílem do Chicaga – mesta státu Miching. Mezi jinými odešel tam také 70-letý starec Josef Šerý vulgo Brancák se ženou, též již starou se synem Václavem a dcerou Annou. Rok pred tím totiž roku 1878 odstehoval se tam jejich syn Jan – výtecný hudebník, jenž se byl V Minesote v Nové Praze usadil a tak ustavicným lákáním a dopisováním i otce i matku a celou rodinu Josefa Šerýho za sebou vylákal.

Z Mazalova odstehovala se tam svobodná 24 roku stará dívka Marie Baštýrová, zanechavše tady starického otce výminkáre, se kterým žila a jehož byla ošetrovala. Dukaz toho, jak málo citu mezi tím vesnickým selským lidem. Starický otec po jejím odchodu se pak z Mazalova k provdané dceri u Bušku do Vitína odstehoval.

Spokojenost všech tech Ameriky chtivých jest velmi pochybná, nebot jest Amerika jen pro lid bažící jen po mase, po vezdejším klamném blahobytu, který si v Americe krvave zasloužiti musí, pri cemž bohužel duše, náboženství a národnost po nejvíce za obet tu padnou. Všecko zrazování ze strany duchovního pastýre bylo marné. Lid veril jen dopisum z Ameriky sem od prátel a príbuzných zasílaných.

This year, more families have moved from Ševetín and the surrounding area to America, some to the state of Minnesota, and others to Chicago, a city in the state of Miching [Michigan]. Among them was also seventy year old Josef Šerý, a.k.a. Brancák, with his wife, also a woman of old age, along with their son Václav and daughter Anna. In the previous year, 1878, another son of theirs, Jan, an excellent musician, had moved there. He had settled in New Prague, Minnesota. Writing persistently and seductively, he lured his father and mother and the entire family of Josef Šerý to follow him.

There was an unmarried, twenty-four year old girl from Mazalov, Marie Baštýrová, who emigrated there as well. She left her old father, with whom she had lived a cared for, behind. This proves how little sympathy there is among the rural farming people. After her departure, her old father moved from Mazalov to his other daughter, who was married to the Bušek family, in Vitín.

The happiness of all those who lust for America is very doubtful because America is only for those who are greedy for meat and material, illusionary wealth, which has to be earned in America with bloody hard work. Unfortunately, their souls, religion and nationality are often sacrificed in the process. All advice against moving, given by their spiritual shepherd, was in vain. People believed only the letters sent to them by friends and relatives from America.

 

str.145

Rok 1880:

V roce 1880 se odstehovalo zase pres 120- pravím pres jedno sto dvacet lidí , jednotlivci i celé rodiny do Ameriky. Nejvíce jich bylo z Drahotešic, Velechvína, Kolnýho a Ševetína, skoro z každé z prifarených vesnic.

Odcházely tam i svobodné selské a podružské dcery 17 18-ti leté bez rodicu, tak jako by šly jen nekam na službu. Šly aniž by vedely co tam budou delat. Slyšely, že se tam v Americe brzo vdají, nebo že je tam vubec dobre a rodice jim v tom nebránili, ba nekterí otcové a matky rádi je tam vypravili.- dali jim Ameriku za výbavu.

Stehování do Ameriky se zvrhlo v pouhé dobrodružství, celkem ale svedcí stehování toto o rozervaných bídných pomerech tohoto nevíce svou vinou zbankrotilého, zchudlého lidu, nebot táhlo tam i nekolik na mizinu sešlých sedláku, kterí meli krásné usedlosti , ale chlastem, lumpáctvím a nicemností svou provozovali vše tak, že jim zbylo sotva na cestu do Ameriky.

Nekterí z lidu nádenického a podružského neb domkárského byli ovšem nuceni lepší výdelky hledat , aby mohli uživit svou rodinu, jelikož zde bylo všecko prelidneno a málo výdelku. Tento druh chudého ale pracovitého a pricinlivého lidu dá se omluviti, že odchází do Ameriky. Avšak ostatní svobodný mladý lid a selský – bývalí rolníci, tento lid zde mohl dobre živ býti, kdyby chtel pracovat a v porádku živ býti. Tento lid nezasluhuje v pravde nic jiného než Ameriku, nebot ta je teprve pracovat naucí. Nekáranou a vetšinou morálne skleslou celed tuto , která není k žádnému napravení, snadno jsme oželili. Takhle všichni do státi Minesotta do Nové Prahy co farmárští nádeníci, nebo do mesta Chicago ,kde též nádeniciti musí.

Dle dopisu sem z Ameriky došlých , panuje tam mezi Ceskými vystehovalci hrozná zpustlost náboženská, stávají se tam z nich neverící – svobodnými zednári, slovem zhovadilým lidem. Ale tenhle bývalý lid zdejší nedbá žádných výstrah, není mu rady , tedy ani pomoci, touží jen po mase, žraní a chlastu a v Americe je prý masa dost – to je tam táhne.

In the year 1880, there were again over 120 – as I say, over one hundred and twenty – people, both individuals and entire families, who immigrated to America. The majority of them were from Drahotešice, Velechvín, Kolný and Ševetin; they left from almost every village affiliated with our parish.

Among them are unmarried women from farms, as well as, daughters of farmhands, 17- or 18-year olds, without their parents, as if they had been going simply somewhere nearby to work. They went without knowing what they would do there. They had heard that in America they would marry soon, or that life would be good in America. Their parents did not try to stop them. On the contrary – some fathers and mothers were glad to send them – America was given as a dowry.

Emigration to America has perversely turned into a mere adventure. Generally, though, this migration is a sign of the torn, miserable conditions in which the bankrupt, impoverished people find themselves, mostly because of their own doing. There have been several farmers who were broke even though they had beautiful farms. But their drinking, wretchedness and villainy brought them down so they had hardly enough to pay their way to America.

Some from among the farmhands, sojourners and cottagers were of course forced to seek better wages so that they could feed their families since overpopulation was widespread and there was little money to earn. This kind of poor but hard working and resourceful folk can be excused for their emigration to America. But all the others, free young people and former famers, these could live well here, had they wanted to work and live properly. Such people truly do not deserve anything but America; that country will teach them to work. We have parted easily with this disorderly and mostly morally corrupt crowd without any hope for a remedy. Then they all have to work as hired hands, either in New Prague in the state of Minnesota, or in the city of Chicago.

According to the letters that have arrived from America, there is a horrifying religious decline among Czech immigrants who lose their faith and become Freemasons, in short, a crowd of brutes. But this former local population did not heed any warnings; there is no way to advise or help them. These people desire only meat, fodder and booze – and in America they say there is meat enough – this is what attracts them.

 

Dodatek:

Podle záznamu ve farní kronice ze Ševetína se dále dozvídáme, že z osady ( farnosti ) odešlo do Ameriky celkem více než 200 osadníku . Proto se nemužeme divit reakci pana faráre Josefa Vackáre , který farnost spravoval od 20. ríjna 1875, že nemá žádnou radost z tak velkého úbytku „ svých ovecek“ ze stáda, které spravuje. (Note by Mike Cwach's informers.)

 

Appendix:

From the records in the parish log book of Ševetín, we learn that there were over 200 parishioners who left for America. We cannot be surprised by the reaction of Father Josef Vackár who was in charge of the parish since October 20, 1875. He was not happy at all to see such a decrease in the number of “ his sheep ” in the flock that was in his care. (Note by Mike Cwach's informers.)

 

 

ACCESS RESTRICTIONS

The Cwach, Michael collection is available for public research.

OWNERSHIP & LITERARY RIGHTS

The Cwach, Michael collection is the physical property of the Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota.

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CITE AS

The Cwach, Michael Collection, Czech/Bohemian American Collection, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota

Index Terms

Czech
Bohemian
Religious life

 


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