This database contains the names of 5600 Czech immigrants living in Nebraska and parts of Kansas as reported in the Hospodar newspaper of the early 1890s. These adventurous souls came from all corners of the Czech lands: Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia. A few people with Slovak ancestry are also recorded. Only landowners and business people are listed; it does not include the names of all family members. Importantly though, the database does list the town of birth for most of these individuals, which is essential information if you’re just beginning your genealogy research and you hope to find your ancestors’ records in the archives of the Czech Republic.
The mass overseas emigration of Czechs, primarily to the USA, began in the second half of the 19th century. The first wave of Czech emigrants included “The 48-ers” who were fleeing persecution after the failed revolutions of 1848 in Europe. A second, larger wave began after the Austrian government passed a law in 1867 allowing legal emigration out of the empire. The Homestead Act of 1862 in the United States, offering free land to settlers, coupled with the end of the U.S. Civil War, helped spark the age of mass migration. During the initial phase, most emigrants were peasants who had no prospects of acquiring land in their ancestral homeland and who generally aspired to earn a living by farming in their new home. Later emigrants were increasingly urban craftsmen and laborers hoping for better compensation in the burgeoning economy of the United States.
Even though this database mainly lists Czech immigrants living in Nebraska and parts of Kansas in the early 1890s, many of these families, or their children, eventually moved to nearby states (e.g. South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Oklahoma).
In February 2017 we added over 3300 names compiled from Moravian Heritage Society ("MHS") and 200 individuals listed in the webpage dedicated to the nineteenth-century German-Bohemian villagers who emigrated from Markt Eisenstein, now Železná Ruda ("Markt Eis") to northern Wisconsin.