All new!  Only here from Onward To Our Past® Genealogy & History Services Company!  An all new, exclusive translation from the original Czech to English of another fabulous biography of an early Czech immigrant to the United States.  It is a great story and as with many of these, it is first-person and filled with wonderful details and information about the lives and times of our early Czech ancestral compariots!

This story is from the 1951 edition (Volume LXXVIII) and is another wonderful one!

We know you will find it fascinating!

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®


1951 Frank Stary image

            “I was born on the 4th of September 1879 in Vápenný Podol, in the district of Chrudim in Bohemia to poor parents, Jiří and Marie Dostál-Starý.  We were four small children numbering one sister and three brothers.  The youngest brother died when I was already in America.  – I had to work from a very tender age.  First I had to graze geese and then goats.  I had to gather grasses and forest fruits.  My father worked in a stone quarry where he was badly hurt and died that same day in 1890.  As long as father had lived our life was almost all right, even though we did not have anything extra.  However, after his death the whole weight fell onto my mother.  I had to help as much as I could, while I was also going to school.  In 1901 my sister left for America and went to Chicago with her husband.  One brother was in Vienna.  In 1893 I was fourteen years old and mother sent me into service in a neighboring village, Citkov, but I did not stay there long, since sister in America wrote to us that she would pay for my way, and asked my mother to send me to her.  I was very happy to go to America.  To this day I am grateful to my sister that she helped me get to America.  My sister is still alive and she is 84 years old.  She is a widow, and she lives with her sister in Clutier, Iowa.

I left my home on September 2nd, 1893.  On September 22nd I was already in place in Chicago.  Two additional boys were coming from our area, and those were Anton Jirásek from the neighboring village of Boukalka and Rudolf Horák from the same cottage as me.  Also another countryman was going with his whole family to New York and mother asked him to look out for me.  She gave him 15 gold pieces that she had borrowed, for safekeeping, since she was afraid that somebody would steal it from me or that I would lose it.  He, however, disappointed my mother, and me as well.

He used those 15 gold pieces for his own travel through an express ship, and sent us through a different one called Darmstadt in the lower steerage.  In a package from my home, I had a loaf of rye bread and food, however, I also lost that thanks to this countryman. – We boarded the ship in Bremerhaven right before lunch and we hungry as wolves, so finally there we ate.  After supper, I could not eat anything.  For three days I was sick. — Finally we arrived in New York.  I was carrying a package of clothing and a hand suitcase.  It was all heavy for me, and so I asked a friend to take my small suitcase, and that was the last I saw of him or the suitcase, including a pipe that my mother had packed for my brother-in-law.  There were about twenty of us who went to Chicago, but I did not know anybody, except for one lady who had three or four small children.  Among us there were also several Czechs.  One of them said that we would be on the road for about two days and two nights.”

Tomorrow Onward To Our Past® continues this marvelous story…so stay with our site and don’t miss a thing!

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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