Where are my Houska & Kopta ancestors from?

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My Bohemian ancestors are about the only ones I have no clue where they came from. Everything I have seen just says Bohemia. My Houska & Kopta 2nd great grandparents, Joseph Kopta, born Feb 1861, who came to the US in 1871 with his parents Joseph & Mary, & Mary J Houska, met, as far as I know, in Chicago where they married in 1882. I’ll be attending the CGSI conference in Chicago 2013, & I’m really hoping to finally find where they come from. My 2nd great grandmother was Mary J houska, born May 28, 1863 in Bohemia. I have info that her dad was Frank & her mom was Anna Lang, which I wouldn’t have taken as a Bohemian name. The census info shows that Mary came to the US when she was only 3 years old in 1866, but I’ve never found anything on that or her parents being here. I have her marriage info in 1882, but no paper trail of her being here before her marriage in 1882, & nothing until the 1900 census. I grew up in Cicero, IL, right next to another biggie for Bohemian immigration, Berwyn.



Hello Donna:

There is a Czech website (‘kde jsme’ means ‘where are we’) where you can type in a Czech surname and see where it is currently distributed in the country. Here are those two surnames mapped out:

With the Anna Lang connection, it is a good bet that your family was from the western 1/2 of ‘Bohemian’ side of the Czech lands, which of course isn’t specific enough to help you find their vital records, but it is a point in the right direction—

Will see you at the conference in Chicago next month—

Best regards, Tony Kadlec CGSI Corresponding Secretary/Research Coordinator