All new today!  A brand new, biography from the 1951 edition of the spectacular Czech-American annual journal, Amerikán Národní Kalendář!

Today we offer a full biography from the ‘Old Settlers’ Memories” article featuring a new Czech immigrant couple and their stories from the ‘Old Country’ to their lives in the United States.

We know you will enjoy this wonderful story!

Amerikán Národní Kalendář

Year: 1951, Volume: LXXIII, Pages: 117-144

“Old Settlers’ Memories”

Translated from the original Czech by Dr. Mila Saskova-Pierce and Layne Pierce

©Onward To Our Past®

The Biography of Josef and Barbora Šilhový, Jefferson Street,

East Islip, L. I., N. Y.

1951 Silhovy image 


The Spouses Josef and Barbara Šilhový

            “My birthplace was the village of Tisov, in the district of Blatná in Bohemia where my parents owned a small house in which I was born on the 12th of February 1876 and where my two brothers Václav and František, and my sister Marie also first saw the light of the world.  The grammar school that I went to was in Hvožďany.  That was up to my fourteen years of age. That school was also attended by a little girl, Baruška Tůmová, with whom I used to sit on the school bench and who later decided my fate.  We often think about the well-known song:  “When little Johnny with Little Annie,” but in our case it should have been: “When Joe and Little Barb Were Playing Together –And on the Little Bench Were Sitting Together.” etc.

From our sincere childhood friendship love developed.  When I finished school I started service with a big farmer, and also Baruška Tůmová, whose parents owned a small house in Hvožďany, went to service when she stopped her schooling, in the year 1890.  In the year 1894 at the age of eighteen she left for America where she was in service in New York for 6 years, until I followed her.  After 9 years of service at the age of 23, I left for the Promised Land.  On the 13th of October In the year 1900, the late parish priest Písek from Hus Church on 74th St, blessed our marriage.  After the wedding we went to the settlement of East Islip where a number of countrymen were already settled, and where we have been living our happy shared life to this day.  Unfortunately, even that was tarnished by the death of our sweet daughter Lillian, who died unmarried at the age of 28 years.  Our marriage was blessed with 5 children; Rudolf  who took for his wife Camilla Richterová from Bohemia; our daughter, Anna, married to Emil Pavlík from Beyport; Božena married to Josef Klimeš; and the youngest one, Josef, who is also married.  On the 1st of February 1950 my sweet Barbora celebrated her 74th birthday and I myself, eleven days later, celebrated my 74th year of travel on this planet Earth.  On 13 October, 1950 WE CELEBRATED OUR GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY.  During our stay since our arrival I have had different jobs; as a gardener in the private homes of rich people in the local surroundings and in the most recent times I am working as an employee of a concrete firm in the local settlement.

Our mutual love and mutual understanding allowed us to have a happy common life, surrounded by our children, grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.  We own a small house on the corner of Jefferson St., where I devote my free time to the upkeep of our home as well as of the garden.

My wife has siblings here; her sister Anna Houserová, her sister Marie Říhová in Bayshore, who is a widow, and her sister Josefa, married name Záhrobská, who is living in New York.  She also has two brothers and those are Charles, who is settled in Brno in Moravia, and Josef in Bohemia.

We have been subscribed to Amerikán already for a number of years and we always look forward to it: we especially look forward to articles by our friend Charles Lux from Sayville and we are grateful to him for everything that he has done for our countrymen over the years, as a representative of our Amerikán.  Unfortunately the association hall of the Association of Czech Ladies (Jednota českých dam), was sold.  This hall was our pride: to it came countrymen not only from New York, but from all the surrounding settlements.  Unfortunately our association life since that time has been limited to the very narrow circle of our good friends.”

Stay with us tomorrow as we continue Onward To Our Past®’s exclusive translations from the priceless pages of the seventy-nine years of the Czech-American journal, Amerikán Národní Kalendář!

Onward To Our Past®


A Genealogical Historian, who is focused on family history and genealogy of the highest quality, but with a dose of fun. Avid about documentation and evidence. Loves helping folks of all levels in their genealogy pursuits, especially in the areas of Bohemia, Czech Republic, Italy, Cornwall, Kent, United Kingdom, U.S. Immigration and Cleveland, Ohio.

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