Zelow is one of the last cities founded by the Czech Exiles after the Battle of
White Mountain, where to this day is heard the Czech language spoken as well as
the Exiles‘ traditions preserved through the memories of the citizens. Zelow
(Zelów – Polish spelling) was established in the year 1803. It’s founders were
largely descendants of the Czechs, who because of their religious
convictions/faith left Bohemia (predominantly eastern Bohemia) in the 1840’s,
during the time of severe re-Catholization.
The history of Zelow from it’s founding until the middle of the 20th Century is written in great detail in the book „Zelów“ by Edita Sterikova (published by Kalich, Praha, 2002). In time, the inhabitants of Zelow quickly increased in number and the land could not sustain all of them. They scattered not only to nearby settlements such as Faustynow, Kuczow, Lodz, but as the 19th Century progressed many families dispersed further east to places such as Zyrardow, Volyn and Ukraine. After the end of WWI, and especially after the end of WWII, most of the Czechs returned to the land of their forefathers, that of Czechoslovakia.
On these pages I would like to gradually build the individual genealogies of the descendants from Zelow. The details concerning the era encompassing the years 1803 until 1947 are fairly complete as they are derived from the Evangelical and Baptist registers from Zelow, which were nearly all preserved. Unfortunately, the records from approximately the first 20 years are fairly sketchy. Other details can be derived from many sources: such books as „Pozvani do Slezska“ and „Zelów“ by Edita Sterikova, the records from Mezirici, Prepychy, Cernilov, Husinec, Buczek, Kuczow, Lodz, Zyrardow and Michalovka, the internet and from the living descendants of the Exiles.
For now, from the genealogical point of view, there are certain unfinished pages on which there are quoted sources. Next to most identified events (birth certificates, confirmation papers, wedding and death announcements), there is a specific number that identifies a photographed page from the accompanying record.
If you have any knowledge of being a descendant of the Czech Exiles and cannot find your descendant information there, please contact me.
In closing, I would like to thank all those who have so willingly helped with the continuing discovery of the Exiles‘ history, most particularly, Edita Sterikova, Jiri Jersak and Miroslaw Jelinek.
I first compiled the Andrs genealogical tree – it is not only the first alphabetically, but most importantly, my grandmother was born an Andrs.