Czech Immigration To Ennis, Texas
The 1880's

From the Cesky Hlas, Vol.12, No.4, November 1997 by Frank Mikula

The 1880's were tumultuous times in the land of Moravia. The native people were under the rule of the Emperor of Austria. Civil liberties were at a minimum, the economy was in a shambles, arable land had long ago been divided and subdivided, new farm land was impossible to obtain. Two and three families within a residence were common. Wars and rumors of war abounded. Native sons were being conscripted to serve and die for causes foreign to their homeland.

Letters from relatives in the new land were frequently arriving. Although conceding that the work was hard and the climate could be severe, the messages extolled the virtues of the home we so love, our great state of Texas! Everyone, it seemed, could own land, if they so chose. Crops were abundant, cattle for dairy and consumption purposes were everywhere, horses were in ample supply. Comfortable housing was being quickly erected. Numerous Moravian natives, suppressed Austrian citizens, began to crowd the offices of their village magistrates seeking official approval to emigrate. The applications, extant in official archives, portray in vivid detail the condition of the times.

Dateline New York - 25 March 1884.
Today the NEKAR, a sailing steam-assisted cargo vessel of German registry docked at New York Harbor. As is now common, she bore numerous immigrants to our country. Fortunately, the majority of them are destined to populate the frontier State of Texas and will be with us for only a brief stay. We wish them all good fortune!

The NEKAR was owned by the firm Norduetscher Lloyd of Bremen. From 1881 through at least 1885 she plied the Atlantic between Bremen and New York on a monthly basis. In addition to cargo, thousands of immigrants made the passage within her hold. Subsequent tales relate the hardships of this crossing - but that is another story.

Arriving in "Amerika" aboard the NECKAR on that cold, foggy, March day were the following souls. Most ultimately settled in the Ennis, Texas area and, today, their descendants have multiplied many hundred-fold and made enormous contributions to the homeland once adopted by their ancestors.

Partial Captain's List - Passenger Name and Age - The NECKAR 25 March 1884

ADAMEK, John 32, Marie 34, Math 5, Anna 10 months
CERNY, Anton 24, Marie 21
CHALAPKA, Franz 38, Anna 30
DLABAJA (DLABAJ), Johann 60, Anna 64, Johann 30, Anna 27, Frances 5, Theodor 11 months
DOBIASCH, Maria 43, Marie 11, Anna 10, Josef 8
GERYK (GERIK), Franz 29
JAKOSCH, Katha 28, Anna 13
JANAK, Bartel 32
JURIK, Anton 34, Franzisca 32, Maria 11, Franzisca 9, Johann 7, Franz 5, Alois 11 months
KALAL, Josef 25, Anna 24, Josef 11 months, Franz 25, Maria 23
KOSS, Josef 53(?), Filomena 31
KRIZKA (KRISKA), Johann 35, Veronica 33, Aloisia 4, Richard 2
- in the company of the Kriska's was a CAECILIA HUBACEK 14, who in 1891 married FRANTISEK MIKULA, also aboard the NEKAR as a youngster of 14 - the paternal grandparents of the contributor.-
MACHALICEK (MACHALIK), Josef 28, Vo 28, Franzisca 2, Maria 6 months
MATUSEK, Thomas 28, Anna 21, Ludmilla 2, Carl 8 months
MAZKA, Veronica 23
PASTUCHA, Anna 35, Thomas 11, Caecilia 5
PECHOTA, Josef 25, Anna 22, Maria 8 months
SCHWEC (SVEC), Paul 21
SIKORA, Valentin 13, Johann 21
SOKOL, Anton 19
SWOBODA (SVOBODA), Veronica 19
SWZIK, Joh 16
TROJASCHEK (TROJACEK), Josef 30, Franzka 30, Franz 11, Antoni 2 months
WITOWSKY (VITOVSKY or VITOVSKI), Josef 39, Anna 30, Josef 11, Caroline 10, Franz 8

This data is courtesy of the book CZECH IMMIGRATION PASSENGER LISTS, Vol VI, by Leo Baca. Leo is a resident of Richardson, Texas, and has spent the last twenty years researching Czech immigration to Texas. Any information regarding Czech ancestors in the Ennis area is welcome. Readers may E-Mail the writer or send correspondence to 7751 La Bolsa, Dallas, TX 75248.

Frantisek Mikula V