Kautsky Family Heritage
Trip Start Sep 11, 2005
51Trip End Dec 13, 2005
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Today we set off to gain some insight into the towns which the Kautsky family once inhabited. We were able to explore the towns a bit. I am definitely not cut out for detective work, so I did not gain a great deal of information. My point was just to see the area, we were successful in that.
We started out with some information which was provided to me from my mom and the Kautsky family. We knew we were looking for two small towns, Lounin and Tetin. These are situated near the town of Beroun, about 30 km southwest of Prague. We decided to make Beroun our base camp and have been staying here. It is not the most traveler appealing town, but it does have inexpensive, nice lodging. So that has worked out
We tried to map out where to find these towns on the internet before we left because we had trouble locating them on any of the maps we had. We knew the basic direction we were heading and wandered until we found them. Our first stop ended up being Lounin.
Lounin is one of those places that if you blink you will miss. We were in search of house number 24, where several generations of the Koucky (Kautsky) family were born. We did find the house, it seemed very nice, most likely remodeled a time or two over the years. It was fenced off, so we were not able to see a great deal of it. We were not able to talk to anyone in the home.
As we roamed around many dogs were not pleased with us. Their barks scared me some, but we managed to find a marker of some sort which showed Josef Koucky. From my understanding he was born in house #24 on October 8, 1803. Following Josef's birth was his son Frantisex on December 1, 1830, and his son with the same name on August 9, 1863. So I guess this house has a lot of Kautsky family history. It was neat to see the place they once called home.
We then ventured to Tetin, the previous home and the resting place of some of the Kautsky family. This was a lovely historical town near the Elk River. We were looking for house #1 and #3, where the oldest Kautsky members that we have record of were known to have lived. We roamed throughout the entire town, but could not find these homes. We were able to locate a very old church with a grave yard which dated back to the tenth century. We were not able to locate any specific Kautsky family members, but the majority of the grave stones were no longer marked. We did find one family name which we had been told had relation to the Kautsky family, the name was Kravohlova. The cemetery was situated on the edge of a hill in a beautiful location. It was wonderful to walk along and think that some of my past family may have walked in these same places, or attended these same churches.
From this point we found another church nearby called Kostel Svate Ludmily. This church was built in honor of an early Czech martyr named Saint Ludmily. Ludmilla was also the name of the earliest Kautsky lady that we know of. I had information stating that the early Kautskys were buried here. There were no markers anywhere, but it was evident that this had been a resting place. We were not able to find any other grave yards in the town, although we did look
Unfortunately, I gained no insight that the Kautsky family did not already know. Instead, I gained perspective which I had not had before. I now can visualize the area where these ancestors once lived. I can see the fields and gentle hills which they may have once farmed or looked over. I stood inside the churches that they may have once attended, or may be buried. I admired the lovely river which bordered the town and wondered what experiences they may have had in it.
I am thankful to the family for taking the risk and heading to America. I am not sure of their reasoning or their motivation. I appreciate the Bohemian area that they came from, and found many similarities to the Indiana farmland I call home.
I am glad we made the journey to Bohemia, or what we today call the Czech Republic. I now understand a bit of where I come from. I had hoped to find some grave stones with their names, or dreamed of finding some welcoming extended family member to share stories of the past. In reality I doubted that would happen. The people I did talk to were nice and made me even more grateful I made the journey.
I appreciate the get togethers the Kautsky family still have each summer, and realize that what is most important is the relationships built today. Many years from now it is quite possible that our descendents will not know everything about us, but hopefully our legacy will live on. I am hoping that although I do not know a great deal about my family history now, I just might later in heaven. I am hoping they came to know the Lord and that we will have an amazing reunion together in the presence of Christ. I look forward to that day.