Onward To Our Past® is pleased (and I am personally very excited) to announce that our team is now past the half way point on our unique project to translate from Czech to English the 1895 work of author Hugo Chotek on the early days of the Bohemian Immigrant community of Cleveland, Ohio.
The early pages of the Hugo Chotek work.
The work entitled “Ceska osada a jeji spolkovy zivot v Cleveland, Ohio v Severni Americe. Vydano Cechy Clevelandskymi za obdbyvani Narodopisne vystavy v Praze roku 1895, Volnost 1895” was found in the archive in Prague and a digital copy sent to us courtesy of a fine researcher in the Czech Republic, David Kohout.
This book of some 195 pages was written and compiled by the noted Bohemian author Hugo Chotek during his later years in Cleveland, Ohio. Chotek, a prolific writer, also lived in Czech communities in New York, Detroit, Texas, Nebraska, and Ohio. He wrote fiction, non-fiction and was, during most of his life, the editor for various Czech-language newspapers.
Section of obituary for Hugo Chotek from Cleveland Plain Dealer, 1911.
This book, prepared for an Ethnographic Exposition in Prague in 1895 gives us genealogists multiple gifts.
First, Chotek starts off with a solid explanation of the early history of Cleveland and what it was like prior to and in 1895.
Second, he begins to take us on a tour of the Czech communities and immigrants in Cleveland. Again, great insights for all of us!
Third, he provides in-depth listings of every person who belonged to any of the Freethinking Chapters of CSPS in Cleveland. At times he includes Lodges in other areas of Ohio and beyond to Detroit, Chicago, and St. Louis. These listings include literally hundreds of surnames of the earliest Bohemian immigrants of Cleveland — and he did it nicely for us in 1895, giving us a great help with the historic 1890 US Census void. The number of surnames, wives’ names, deaths, causes of death, home villages and districts in Bohemia, and more details are everywhere in this wonderful book!
Finally (at least so far), I discovered a single line in the book where Chotek, very nicely, admits to having spent a year — yep a whole year — visiting with the very oldest Czechs he could find in Cleveland in 1894 and then wrote about it. That article will be stage two for our project as I have located this document in Chicago and our team will begin translating this (also for the first time ever) into English!
I am sure there will be far more to learn in this as we continue our translation efforts, so watch this space!
I can hardly wait! As soon as we get the entire book translated, we will conduct our final proofreading, then provide it here for all of you to use and enjoy. It really should be an amazing look into the early years of the Bohemian (Czech) community of Cleveland.
As I said ….. the team is working hard and are all very excited to be able to bring this to the genealogy community for the first time ever.
Onward To Our Past,