I've been fairly successful tracing my family back to the early 1700s using the Czech archives. But when I get into the 1600s, the trails disappear. I'm guessing they were moved after the Thirty Years War by the nobles to populate their farms. Is there any reference that tells me which nobles owned what lands during the late 1600s? I'm hoping that this would give me clues as to what other parishes to look for the trail.
Richard - 2303 West Cording Road, , Galena, IL 61036
First, congratulations to your work. In the past, as people could move only in the boundaries of the estate (they were subjects of the lord), and some estates were large, the person could be sent by estate owner to another village. After 30 years war, as some places were devastated and abandoned, the subjects might be sent to repopulate these places. Many estates changed their owners at this time. New nobles (owners) came. If you cannot find any information in your locality, try other localities belonging to the hands of the same landlord or noble. The information can be in various archives, including private archives and private hands. You probably already explored all the church records for your area. (Note: For some places the church records (matriky) are preserved even from the time before the 30 years’ war.)
This list of estates in Bohemia might help https://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kategorie:Panstv%C3%AD_v_%C4%8Cech%C3%A1ch
In the past, there were created various lists of subjects (censuses), the most important shortly after the end of the Thirty Years' War (1618 - 1648), the Soupis poddaných podle víry in 1651 (List of subjects by faith in 1651), and Berní rula (Inventory of 1654) as the most important one from the pre-Theresian period. It was the list of subjects for tax purposes, as the first nationwide cadastre, later replaced by Theresian cadastre in 1748, 1757. In Moravia, the Lánské rejstříky can help (Lan Registers, lán – piece of land, field) 1669 – 1679 (including some records from 1657 and 1667), in Moravsky Zemsky Archiv, Brno.
There are also books published in Czech, for example the Hospodářské dvory bývalých panství v Čechách (Farms of former estates in Bohemia), 2018, https://www.npu.cz/cs/npu-a-pamatkova-pece/npu-jako-instituce/publikace/38297-hospodarske-dvory-byvalych-panstvi-v-cechach, then the Noble Families in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia from the White Mountain to the Present (2010) https://www.kosmas.cz/knihy/148086/slechticke-rody-v-cechach-na-morave-… . There might be the maps illustrating all these estates, and preserved at museums, archives, university libraries, and other institutions.
In addition, there is a list of all Czech nobles by time periods on Wikipedia https://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%8Cesk%C3%A1_%C5%A1lechta.
The histories of villages can also help with the names of nobles (in many cases online - first open it in the Czech version which gives a much more detailed description of the place, then click translate to English). For further information or guidance, feel free to join us at CGSI Czech Slovak Discussion Group quarterly online (first Saturday in August, November, February, May). Thank you. Iveta B.