From the beginning of my research, I focused on finding my great-grandfather Josef Vopat’s ancestors in Czech Republic. After all, thanks to my brother and a cousin, I had information on him and had a place to start. I kept batting zero and finding no information, because the parish his family came from is still not digitized.
Suddenly, I saw a location jotted on one side of the notes my grandmother had written.
It simply said Dobric, Kralovice, Czech.
It was not really attached to anyone in particular, but it was near the notes for Anna Ridl. So, I started trying to figure out where Dobric was located. I hit google maps, because that is an easy way to find locations if they still exist.
It was fairly close to Kralovice and Hadacka (which is where Josef, her husband was supposed to be from.) So, I decided to see if the records were online.
I went to Genteam, a great website that helps locate the parish for individual towns in places that were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in centuries past. There were several towns close in name to Dobric, but only one with the exact name in the Pilsen (Plzen) Region of the Czech Republic.
According to the website, Dobric belonged to the Plana okres Plzen parish. So, I headed to the website Actipublica website that houses all of the Czech Republic historic archives. I found nothing. I found nothing, because I did not need to search the whole Plana okres Plzen on the website. After some conversation on a genealogy message board, I discovered that I only needed to put in Plana.
I went back to the website and put in Plana. Up popped a list of the records, including the records for Dobric in the year 1870, Anna’s year of birth. It only took a few minutes to page through and there she was.
I was so excited I did a happy dance. I could barely read the archives, but it was clearly Anna Riedl (not Ridl, as I had in my notes) there. Right birthdate, 2 April 1870.
A few of the details were not quite the same, but were pretty darn close. For example, I had Blous for Anna’s mother’s maiden name. It was Ploss. Pretty close, I think.
Anna’s parents are Frantisek and Barbora Riedl. They indeed lived in Dobric, at house number 32. They married 31 January 1871. Two children were born prior to their marriage. That kind of shocked me. You don’t expect ancestors born so long ago to have children before getting married, but I guess people have always been what they are!
After some digging, I discovered Anna had three brothers and two sisters. Josef was born in 1868, Frantisek in 1877, and Vaclav in 1884. Anez’ka, Anna’s sister, was born in 1880 and Marie, another sister was born in 1889. Anna could never have known much of Marie, because she was only a few years old when Anna immigrated to the U.S. Interestingly enough, the name Riedl was sometimes spelled Ridl. The old archives were not very consistent.
And so, I am finally getting to know my great-grandmother.