My Czech great-grandmother Anežka Rybová nee Mikulecká passed away when I was 18. While she was yet alive, I was not interested in family history and therefore asked no questions about her family. I knew she had a sister, who was my Aunt Marie, but I did not know anything about her other siblings nor about her parents.
Much later, when my grandmother passed away, I inherited all the documents that were in her possession, including my great-grandmother’s death and marriage certificates. Anežka was born in 1895 in Vratimov, a village located near the city of Ostrava. Using online Czech records, I was able to find her birth record. However, when I looked for the birth record of her sister Marie, I could not find it. In fact, I searched all available births, marriages and deaths from Vratimov around that time period, but did not find anything concerning the Mikulecký family. Where did this family come from and where did they go?
I once again studied my great-grandmother’s marriage certificate. She was married in 1920 and her residence was in Nová Ves in house #15 (Ostrava suburb). It suddenly dawned on me that the Nová Ves 1900 and 1910 censuses are available online through the Ostrava City Archive and could be helpful in my search. I hoped that this family had moved to Nová Ves before the 1910 census. It took only a few minutes to locate house #15. What a relief it was to see the Mikulecký surname on the cover census sheet. The Mikulecký family moved to Nová Ves in 1907. Besides the parents, there were only two children listed–my great-grandma and my aunt. Birth dates and places were included. I learned that Marie was born in Vítkovice (Ostrava suburb). I quickly located her birth record. What a surprise! Not only did it give information about her parents but it listed their parents as well. I had just discovered another generation!
I was sure that I would find the marriage of Anežka’s and Marie’s parents in Vítkovice. But it was not there! I held Marie’s birth record in my hands and suddenly… I saw it! There was a little note that could easily be missed. It said “cop Hrabová 1891” (cop = married). I checked the Hrabová marriage register. But the marriage was not there either! The couple did not get married in Vítkovice nor in Hrabová. So where did they get married? Then I realized that there are two suburbs of Ostrava with similar names, Hrabová and Hrabůvka. Perhaps the priest had made a mistake. This proved to be the correct assumption and I finally found the marriage in Hrabůvka.
For more information about online records available from the various Czech archives, see the Online Databases section of the Czech Republic home page in the FamilySearch Research Wiki.