391 years ago today it was Bloody Sunday in Bohemia.
History and Genealogy Collide in Bohemia today.
Bloody Sunday occurred shortly after the Battle of White Mountain. The Battle of White Mountain marked the loss by the army of Bohemia to the forces of the Holy Roman Empire and the Habsburgs during The Thirty-Years War.
The Thirty-Years War was devastating to Bohemia, but it rose again!
Twenty seven Bohemian patriots were brought to the public square in Prague and summarily executed as a ‘warning’ to all Bohemians by the Habsburg Empire that they must submit to their power and authority. The executions were particularly gruesome. Some were merely beheaded. Some had their tongues cut out first, other drawn and quartered. The heads then placed on spikes and put on display for months afterwards.
Thus began an extraordinarily dark period in Bohemian history and the systematic, and almost complete genocide, against the people of Bohemia by the Holy Roman Empire and the Habsburgs of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Radio Prague is a very nice resource for Czech Information and History
In my personal family history, I have discovered that The Thirty-Years War was a major disruptive force in my ancestors’ lives. Villages were destroyed, almost all of Bohemia was destroyed as the forces of Catholicism tried to wipe out the Protestant faith and the freedoms that were flourishing in Bohemia prior to the War. You can read more about the impacts of The Thirty-Years War here on our site.
Statistics from this period vary, but I have read that the population of Bohemia was reduced from 3 million to about 600,000. A sobering and shocking figure to be certain.
How does this effect your family tree and genealogy?
As a Genealogical Historian, I love to study the history surrounding our ancestors as well as the family members involved. This is what brought me originally to learn more about Bloody Sunday, The Battle of White Mountain, and The Thirty-Years War.
So today as you go about the first day of summer (and I go about my37th wedding anniversary) remember to recall Bloody Sunday and the martyrs of White Mountain. May God continue to bless them all and we not allow them to be forgotten.
To understand history is to truly understand our family history and our own roots and genealogy!
Onward To Our Past!