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Kimberly Powell

5 Online Places to Begin Your Search for Czech Ancestors

By September 17, 2013

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Map of the Czech RepublicNearly 2 million people abroad living today claim roots in the Czech Republic, which encompasses the historical territories of Bohemia and Moravia, as well as the small, south-eastern portion of historical Silesia. The small landlocked area was the site of significant emigration beginning in the early 1850s, when the failed European revolutions of 1848, devastating crop failures in 1851, and enforced military conscription drove many families from their ancestral villages to the German principalities and the Austrian empire, as well as the Russian Empire, South Africa, and America. Following WWI and the closing of American borders to immigrants (1921-1924), Czech emigrants migrated in large numbers to South America, and Western Europe, especially France. Almost 100,000 emigrants left Czechoslovakia in the two years following the communist coup of 25 February 1948, heading for America, Western Europe, Canada, and even Australia and New Zealand. Another large wave left following the Prague Spring uprising in 1968; Canada opened its doors to nearly 12,000 Czech refugees in 1968-69, while Switzerland was a destination for over 14,000 Czech and Slovak exiles.

If you're one of the 2 million people with ancestry in the Czech Republic, then you won't want to miss these five online databases and resources for researching your Czech roots online.

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