Czech Republic Obituaries
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Fraternal Herald, Bratrský věstník
If your Czech ancestors were members of Western Fraternal Life Association (WFLA), as many Czech people have been, chances are their obituaries were printed in the monthly Fraternal Herald, Bratrský věstník, a publication of this organization. The home office in Cedar Rapids, IA has original copies of this publication back to 1890. Copies are also on microfilm at the Nebraska Historical Library in Lincoln, NE and the Wisconsin Historical Society Library in Madison, WI.
For more information see additional articles:
- Fraternal Herald-Bratrsky Vestnik Death Records. July 1897 - July 1991. 7 rolls
- Fraternal Herald-Bratrsky Vestnik Death Index – Not Just for Czechs!
An excellent source of information for those that are researching Czech ancestors is the popular Czech-language newspaper called the Denní Hlasatel that has been published in the Chicago area since 1891. It used to be published daily and almost all issues of the newspaper have been preserved on microfilms. Please note that many Polish and Slovak entries may be found in the newspaper as well.
The Denní Hlasatel provides a wealth of information for anyone conducting genealogical research. Over the past one hundred years it has been common to place obituaries there which reveal a great deal about the deceased relatives including in many cases the area they originated from and their associated family members. The obituaries that were published provide detailed information, including information regarding social organizations and worker's unions. Although the amount of information available in obituaries varies, it includes many of the following items:
- name of the deceased individual, including maiden name for the woman
- date and time of death
- age of the deceased
- village of birth in Europe and/or district and/or closest large city
- number of years in America
- date and time of funeral
- home address of the deceased
- name of Funeral Director, cemetery where buried
- names of surviving relatives, including relationship to the deceased
- organizations'of participation
- work affiliation
Searching the Denní Hlasatel Obituary Index is the first step in finding detailed obituaries in the newspaper. Currently, there exists an index to obituaries in the Denní Hlasatel that covers the period from 1891 to 1995. Once you have located the name of the deceased relative and the date of obituary publication, you may then obtain the complete detailed obituary from the actual Denni Hlasatel issue via one of the microfilm repositories:
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
112 N. State Street
Springfield, IL 62701
The University of Minnesota
Elmer L. Andersen Library
Immigration History Research Center
222 21st Ave S., Suite 311
Minneapolis, MN 55455
The Center for Research Libraries
6050 South Kenwood Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60637
773-955-4545 Ext. 347
According to the Chicago Genealogical Society, not every issue of the Denní Hlasatel is on microfilm. In the case of the 1930's, the months of November 1932, December 1932, March 1934 and September 1935 are missing. Also, there are probably some errors of interpretation due to the poor quality of some of the microfilm.
Please note that although the Denní Hlasatel is still in existence, it is not possible to receive any information from the publisher.
The Denní Hlasatel Obituary Index is available at the Family History Library.
- Novak, Joe. Obituary dates from the Denni hlasatel. Chicago, Illinois: Chicago Genealogical Society, c1995. (977.311 V42o 1891-1899 and 977.311 V42o 1930-1949)
- Novak, Joe. The Denní hlasatel obituary index, 1891-1995. Chicago, Illinois: Czech & Slovak American Genealogy Society of Illinois, c1996-c1997. (977.311 V32d 1891-1970 and 977.311 V32d 1971-1995)