Today we bring you a truly marvelous, exclusive biography of another of our early Czech immigrants from the pages of the 1904 edition of the Czech-American annual journal, Amerikán Národní Kalendář.
We begin this wonderful exclusive story with a four-generation photograph and then move on into the incredibly detailed story of the life of an early Czech compatriot who had just achieved the vaunted age of 100 years! Imagine all he saw!
Enjoy another terrific exclusive Czech genealogy, history, and cultural gem only from Onward To Our Past®!
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Year: 1904, Volume: XXVII, Pages: 256-266
“The Memories of Czech Settlers in America”
[Picture of GRANDFATHER SEYK, his grandson and great-grandson and son]
[A rare picture of four living generations.]
FRANTIŠEK SEYK – Mother Nature imparted upon František Seyk from Kewaunee in Wisconsin a rare age. On September 6, 1903 he will reach the age of a complete 100 years – and in spite of that he is still healthy and busy and at the time when these lines are being written towards the end of the month of August in 1903, he likes to read Czech periodicals.
He was born the 6th of September 1803 in Bělice in the district of Benešov in the Tabor Region in Bohemia. There he went to grammar school and was learning singing and music from a home tutor. When he finished school he learned the tailoring trade from his father in Bělice.
After the end of the apprenticeship he went on the road, as did the majority of graduates. After that he worked in Příbram for several years and thereafter he passed the trade master exams and he became a master and was accepted into the tailors’ guild. For several years he worked independently in the tailoring trade in Příbram. He then returned to Bělice and proudly got married there to Anna Vondrášková, originally from Moráň nad Svatojanskými.
He settled permanently in Bělice. He worked in the tailoring trade and supplemented his income through music and church singing. He was very much in demand as a singer. During his young years he had a nice melodious tenor. Later he sang a deeper bass voice.
He also held the office of village scribe in Bělice. After the year 1850 even Bělice was stricken by the emigration fever and many countrymen flocked to America. He thought thoroughly about this journey and the result was that he decided to leave his motherland and immigrate to America as well.
When he sold all his possessions in the year 1854 he set off on the long road with his wife and his only son, 13 year old Václav. The voyage on the sailing ship from Liverpool took them 61 days. That was after a three week long wait in that city for a ship. Altogether they were three months on the road.
After they landed in New York they went directly by rail to Chicago and from there across a lake on a steamship towards the aim of their journey – to Milwaukee. There Frank Seyk had to take on any work that was available. He tried to make a living through tailoring, however the trade was going very badly. Therefore he cut firewood in different houses and in general he scraped together earnings where he could. In Milwaukee then there were the following Czech citizens: Richter, Hans, Balatka, Vojta Náprstek, František Kříž, and the last one is still alive.
Seyk spent one year in Milwaukee and then he moved to the place where nowadays there is a seminary, St. Francis. There along with his son, Václav, he worked in a brickyard. They experienced quite a bit of drudgery. — Later they moved back to Milwaukee.”
Tomorrow we continue this wonderful biography and learn more details, more names, more places, and more about the lives and times of those wonderful, early Czech immigrants across America! You simply cannot beat our exclusive translations from Amerikán Národní Kalendář for fabulous Czech history and genealogy!
Onward To Our Past®