by Connie Jean (Pesek) Hulinsky | No. 112, Comstock, NE
|L-R: Unknown, Frank Ruzicka, and Mary Palan Ruzicka (grandparents of Connie Jean (Pesek) Hulinsky).|
My genealogy hobby has taken me all the way to the Czech Republic and the house my grandfather had lived in before coming to the United States. Along the way, I made a new friend and gained over 250 years of family history.
I became interested in genealogy when my grandfather’s half-brother passed away in January 1978 and the estate could not locate relatives who would inherit some money. I decided to see if I could find the missing half-sister who was last known to live in Chicago, IL. I found her descendants in Illinois and Minnesota, and they inherited the money before it was turned over to Unclaimed Property in the state of Nebraska. I continue to correspond with these descendants.
A great deal of genealogy information was obtained on the internet (passenger lists, homestead records, census, etc.), but my desire was to see the land in the Czech Republic and how it might compare to Valley County, NE.
In June 2015, my grand-nephew Carter Hulinsky and I were able to make a trip to the Czech Republic with Janet Jeffries on her Cultural Tour of the Czech Republic (sponsored by Doane College, Crete, NE). Her tours are especially conducive to individuals that have information on the village from where their ancestors emigrated.
Through research, several village names for maternal and paternal families for both myself and my husband were found. Of special interest, I had the passenger list and a křestný list (birth certificate) for my grandfather Frank (Frantisek) Ruzicka. He had passed when I was only 10-years old, but I have fond memories of playing dominos with the quiet man. He was born in Zubri, Nove Mesto na Morave, (a town in the Vysočina Region in the central Czech Republic) House #74 on December 16 of 1882.
I was thrilled when our bus pulled into Zubri and this location was discovered! The houses were numbered in the order they were built, so it was a guessing game where the house might have been located. Although the original home had burnt down in 1941, and had further reconstruction since, the thrill was knowing that my grandfather and great-grandfather lived in that exact spot in Zubri before coming to America in 1892.
I was able to view the outside of the house and visit with 19-year-old resident Katerina Nováková about it. She lived with her parents in House #74. Katerina spoke the English language very well and assisted me with my genealogy research of House #74. It was Katerina who went to visit the village chronicler and recorded and translated all of the information that the chronicler provided to her from his records. She also showed the chronicler the records I had provided to her. Katerina was monumental in doing so much research for me that I never expected her to do. We continue to email and she will be my lifelong friend.
Due to her help, this visit, and other research, I have been able to trace the Ruzicka line all the way back to 1749.
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