Just Who Were the Bartuneks?

Josef and Maria/Mary Bartunek were my great-great grandparents. They came from Bartunek Tripletssomewhere in either Bohemia or Moravia, arriving in Kansas sometime before 1890.

That pretty much sums it up what I know about the Bartunek family. I heard plenty of tales about the Vodraska family, my other set of great-great grandparents on my maternal grandmother’s side of the family. Not so much about the Bartunek family.

My great-great grandmother, Maria/Mary Rosenkrantz Bartunek, was said to have worked rolling cigars in a cigar factory in New York City before they came west to become farmers in Kansas. At least, that is one rumor I have heard.

A brother of Mary (Bartunek) Vodraska was said to have liked to drink and tended to get mean. So, my mom disliked him. Again, it is only a rumor.

Someone in the Bartunek family had triplets. I’m not sure which Bartunek family this is and I can’t find triplets on the census, but I am pretty sure that I have the right last name for these kiddos.

I remember talking with my grandmother, Mildred (Vodraska) Vopat, about the Vodraska family. Her father only had one living sister and her name was Rose. I either never had the conversation or my grandmother never mentioned the Bartunek side of her family.

So, I delved into the Bartunek family on Ancestry.com to find a bit more about them.

Turns out Mary Bartunek had several siblings. If I am correct, they were Anthony (Tony), Joseph, Frank and William. I found them on census records. First they lived in Clear Creek township. Then they relocated to Black Wolf. In Black Wolf, they appear to have lived a farm away from Mary and Joseph Vodraska. (Mary Bartunek and Joseph Vodraska married around 1893.)

This is a bit hard to follow, so you may have to read this paragraph twice. My great-aunt Rose Vodraska Vondra had a daughter Mary who married Mary Bartunek Vodraska’s younger brother Frank. So, I learned there is more than one connection to the Bartunek family, if I am reading my census records correctly. The Frank Bartunek family left Kansas and moved to North Dakota before 1920, so they are a bit less connected to Ellsworth County.

I’ve been told that the family lived for a long while in the states before coming to Kansas, so long that Mary was born in New York. However I located a ship manifest from The Main in August 1874 listing Josef, Maria, Maria and Anton Bartunek arriving in the U.S.  I tend to think this is when they arrived, but that would mean that Mary was not a natural U.S. Citizen and neither was Anton.

All of these facts added together equals a bunch more research needed before I can talk much about the Bartunek family. I definitely need to find some living relatives that can and will share what they  know with me!

Drop me a line if you have information that might be relevant to my Bartunek family!


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3 Responses to Just Who Were the Bartuneks?

  1. James A. Bartunek says:

    I knew many of these people you are talking about. My Grandpa was Anthony Bartunek(B. 1870). I have a picture of All of His Siblings, and his parents. The Siblings were: Anthony B. 22 Sept 1870, Mary, William and Frank. The siblings parents were: Joe Bartunek ( Born in 1843 d 1911) and Mary (Rozengranty) Bartunek (B. 1843 D. 1931)
    I also have the Bartunek family tree. I have Joesph Vodraska(B. 1844) and Mary Bartunek(B. 1843)
    included on the family tree. I visited with them into the mid 1970’s. Also I have
    a book on the linage of Amaila Wata the wife Anthony Bartuneks (B. 1870). Contains
    many of the Bartunek lingage. It was written by a Warta Son. So if you will write me
    I will email any information you want. James Bartunek 972 986 8767 Irving, Tx
    May Grand dad had Only two sons, one had no children and My dad had three sons,
    one daughter. The daughter died in infancy. The Three sons(which one is me) had
    three children. The oldest, Kenneth Bartunek has no children, James(Me) has
    two children, one boy and one girl. The youngest brother Anthony had one girl. Out of this linage only came one girl, so the Anthony Bartunek(B. 1870) names stops with
    my generation. So, Peggy, you Great, Great Grand father was my Grand Father. I was born in Ellsworth, Kansas May 18, 1943. My Dad died in 1982 and his brother
    died in 1962 in a tractor accident about three miles West of Ellsworth, Kansas.
    The hospital I was born in was used until about 15 years ago and is still standing as
    far as I know. We visit Ellsworth on occasion and look at the old Anthony Bartunek(B.1870) original farm. The farm is located about three miles Northeast of Kanopolis, ks. Some of the original building are still there including part of the house. The later
    bought a farm about three miles West of Ellsworth, near the Smokey hill river. This farm was given to my Dad’s brother after grandpa retired. I have been to Black Wolf many times. The only thing left is a gran elevator. We lived in Ellsworth during WWII and when my dad got out, we moved to Severy, Kansas where I went to school and lived until the age of 16. So call me and I chat with you. JB

    • Peggy says:

      I have not been on here in a long while. I was pleasantly surprised to see your comments. Thank you so much for posting. I am so excited to hear from a Bartunek. I don’t have a lot of information on them, so this is awesome! That is what I get for not keeping up with my blog!

  2. James A. Bartunek says:

    additional comments: Josef and Maria/Mary Bartunek were my great grandparents.
    They were the parents of my grand pa (B. 1870). Grandparents of my Dad, George Anthony Bartunek. So we are one generation difference. I am 75, you must be
    around 45 years old give or take.

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