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Roots – Volume 79
Czech Radio České Budějovice  (
Broadcast Title:
Families in Jamný by Písek
Broadcast Date: 07-May-2007

To listen to (download) the podcast and hear this program in the Czech language >> click here.

[Reference Note:  Mr. Vojtech Souhrada who has roots from Horni Zahori provided a translation to English, from the original Czech broadcast.  The following is the translation from "Koreny" Roots in radio Ceske Budejovice, Budweiser with additional edits by Karen E. Souhrada]

FČ:  We shall make a trip to the region of Písek today, to the small village of Jamný that is a subvillage to Záhoří.  In 2001 there were 50 houses registered, 34 of which were permanently inhabited, and the total population was around 100 people.  For comparison,  in 1848 there was only a half of todays number of houses; only 25 as residences, but with a total of 250 inhabitants.

AS:  We will visit this village, in the Dominion of Zvíkov, and the estate of Červený újezd, all places we have yet to visit in our “Roots“ series.


FČ: What are the oldest records available for the  village of Jamný?

AS:  King John of Luxembourg in 1323, pawned  the fortress of Zvíkov to Peter of Rožmberk until the debt of 2000 sixties of groshes were paid by him or his descendants...a very long time. On the basis of this document, the following villages and little towns belonged to Zvíkov: Oslov, Újezdec, Vlastec, Kašná Hora, Jamný and others. The debt was finally settled, and in 1347 Zvíkov  came back into the posession of the Czech crown, and was managed by the royal officials, called burgraves. In 1575 the royal Dominion of Zvíkov was sold by the emperor Maxmilián II to Kryštof of Švamberk. This sale brought Zvíkov from a royal posession, and into the hands of  the aristocracy. The whole village of Jamnej, as per the country plates, belonged at that time to the Dominion of Zvíkov.


FČ: Was the village at anytime in a situation where it belonged to more owners?

AS:  Yes, now and then it happened, that the village was under so called partial ownership, which meant that there wre more lords who owned the village.  This makes the  search for ancestors much more complicated as there were villages that had upwards of  five owners of record!  Fortunately,  these villages mentioned above,  were registered in and served by a single rectory and all the inhabitants came there to baptize their children and to celebrate the weddings and funerals.


FČ:  Let us come back to Jamný now. What were the further developments with their owners?

AS: Another member of the family that featured  a swan on their shield,  Jiří Ehrenreich of Švamberk, was the governor of Zvíkov.  He  sold it on 4 September 1612, to his uncle who was based in Orlík, Jan Jiří of Švamberk, for 70.000 sixties of groshes. In the contract, he has reserved his remaining  ownership in Červený Újezdec with the villages between the Vltava and Otava rivers, i.e. the southern part of the Zvíkovian Dominion and the estate of Kestřany. The villages that have remained with Červený Újezdec, for instance Záhoří by Písek and Jamný, were by 1587,  already in  the mayorate of Újezd.  During the ownership of Maria of Eggenberg in 1662,  Červený Újezd together with Jamný, were bought back to Zvíkov. Zvíkov, since 1612, was made a part of the dominion of Orlík/Zvíkov. The family of Schwarzenberg took over the ownership of this dominion in the year 1712.


FČ: Which rectory did the village of Jamný belong under?

AS: It was under the rectory of Záhoří by Písek, with the church of St.Michael the Archangel. This rectory owns the matriculae lead from 1657.  Records from this rectory are located in the State Regional Archive in Třeboň, and it is possible to consult them in that location.


FČ: In case someone has origins in the village of Jamný by Písek, what is the chance of them being able to find the old urbaries [*see definition below], where his village is registered?

AS: As we have already said, Jamný used to belong under the estate of Červený Újezdec, and, together with the estate of Kestřany, to one branch of the family of Švamberks. The oldest urbary comes of this period. It is the urbary of the estates Kestřany and Červený újezdec of 1621. It contains also the list of subjects of Jamný. The urbary is deposited in the fund of the Grand estate Protivín in the archive of Třeboň. The urbary of the dominion Orlík/Zvíkov and Červený Újezdec, of 1667, is deposited there too. The youngest urbary covering the dominion of Orlík comes from 1755.   Jamný is there inder the mayorate of Újezdec and was completed by the official writer Mr. Huschak.


FČ: Our listeners would possibly appreciate your explanation regarding the urbaries, what was it etc.

AS: The *urbaries were occassionally named salbuchs. It is the list of payments collected of the country estates of the landlords. These documents lost its reason d etre with the cessation of servitude in 1848. They are however, very important sources of information for the history of our  South Bohemian villages and families. They contain the old local names, the individual estates, owners names per estate, extent of the fields, meadows, forests and ponds belonging to the estates, and their taxation in money and natural resources.  We also have the rectorial urbaries, that have survived up to now, and they register the financial obligations of the inhabitants towards the church.


FČ: This gives very trustworthy information about the financial status of the individual estates, and can be found recorded in the revenue books.

AS: The village of Jamný belonged in 1654 in the region of Prácheň.  The revenue book states the names of the farmers of that time.  Out of 12 farms  after the 30 years war,  only 5 survived; two cottages spoilt, probably burned out, and five estates were untouched. The estates that survived intact were in the posession of: Řehoř Souhrada, Vít Hroch, Tomáš Spora, Václav Brejcha and Matěj Daček.  Those with ruined business were,  Václav Lechnýř and Alžběta Machová. There is notation with them that they were burned out again in 1676.  The estates remaining in Jamný in the mid 17th century were: Halšovský, Hlavatovský, Bláhovský, Humpálovský and Márovský. Each of them covered 45 strychs, i.e. something like  32.5 acres. The largest estate was Souhradovský with 48 strychs, i.e. some 35 acres of fields.  It is interesting that the fields of three estates – Halšovský, Hlavatovský and Bláhovský – were held as a guarantee covering the debt, by the knight Oldřich Bechyně of Lažany. He had gotten them as a counter, at the value of 900 sixties of groshes, from the recent holder of the estate of Červený Újezd, the lord Jan Vilém of Švamberk.


FČ: It is evident that our ancestors had to face many troubles with fire damage.

AS: Absolutely, in the past the villages suffered very frequently with fire. This is why the Empress Maria Teresia ordered the building of masoned houses [made of stone or brick].  Besides the above, there are also mentions of  fires in the 17th century, where for instance in 1712, one completely burned out the Hrochovský estate in Jamný Reg. No. 1, and the owner Tomáš Mára had to rebuild it completely.  In 1866 both the estates of Lechnýřs Reg. Nos. 5 and 27 were completely destroyed.  In 1911 during the harvest,  the whole village burned out, with the exception of three buildings. Please také into consideration that the majority of the farmers had none or only very humble insurance policies,  covering their properties.  In 1929 two cottages in the middle of the village green burned out completely, and in 1931 the village poorhouse burned.  Paradoxically, these two fires contributed to the improvement of the village appearance.  The destroyed buildings disappeared and the village green was afterwards very nicely rearranged.


FČ: Are there any other resources, like a farmer‘s list for the village of Jamný, and is it available for research?

AS: We can mention the admission list of the 18th century. By that time the data of the revenue list were outdated and it was necessary to remeasure the land and reevaluate the respective taxation. The data of this list then served as a basis for the Theresian Cadastre [** please see End Notations]. The list covering Jamný was carried out in 1716.  There were 12 farmers represented at that time: Václav Souhrada, Matěj Hroch, Lukáš Špora, Ondřej Brejcha, Šimon Daček, Vojtěch Janga, Adam Lechnýř, Lukáš Halský, Martin Hlavatý, Adam Bláha, Pavel Humpál and Linhart Mára. Each of the farmers usually had three horses, two oxen, four cows, lots of sheep, and one swine per farm; only Matěj Hroch had two of them. The list also names the  craftsmen in the village of Jamný: Jakub Procházka was the smith in the municipal workshop, and Daniel Švec was a shoemaker. The salaries of the craftsmen are also stated: the smith had 10 to 12 guldens of  Rhine p.a., the tailor and the weaver had equally 6 to 7 guldens. I would like to point out that this list only states the incomes of the farmers per cottage. The register of landed property stresses the fact that the original names of the farmers were different. For instance, Matěj Hroch was in fact Brejcha, Martin Hlavatý was originally Kovář, Adam Bláha was originally Adam Mareš etc.


FČ: How was the quality of health in Jamný and in other south Bohemian villages at that time?

AS: Hunger came into the villages relatively frequently, especially in the period of statutory labour, together with the times of war.  When hunger continued for a longer period, the people ate whatever was edible, even the bark of trees, as described in many chronicles of South Bohemia. The virulent stomach and intestinal diseases that usually followed were often mistakenly called  “plague“, and often cholera used to come. Heavy rains were also one of the causes of hunger, Jamný was no exception in this respect. On the basis of the records in the National Archive of Prague for instance, Jan Brejcha and his wife in Hrochovský farm died of hunger in 1712.  That was the result of the hunger of 1711 and the following “plague“.  In 1772, on the same farm, Tomáš Mára along with his wife Dorota died, following  the catastrophically bad harvest of 1771 when hunger came and plague, too.  In the period of the Prussian War, from 1864 to 1867,  cholera appeared in Bohemia and Jamný as well, and many people died.  More farmers passed away.  When no one wanted to enter their farms to negotiate the testaments (this step was called “ordering“), then Matěj Mára of U Hrochů farm Reg. No. 1 was called.  This man always came when asked by the people, even if his wife was opposed.  He tried to make her calm and to realize that the disease could not be avoided either. It is registered that he, when visiting the dying people, had the windows and doors wide open to let in a  massive amount of air.  Lastly, he smoked like a chimney on these occassions.


FČ: What can you tell us about the school covering the area of Jamný?

AS: The children of Jamný went to school to Záhoří by Písek, where the new building was completed in 1868.  They came from the far away villages and lonely cottages, with the children walking to school, shoeless through the summer season, and in wooden shoes in the winter. Only “Jamenians“ fancied they could use the royal road for this purpose. The local scripturalist, Matěj Mára, has recalled, how during the period of about 1880 he had to go walk to school with a textbook, reader, tablet and a slice of bread and butter in a linen, home woven bag that had been sewn by his own mother.


FČ: Would you like to mention particularly some of the families of Jamný?

AS: One of the oldest and most remarkable surnames, is the family of Mára.  On the basis of the family saga they originally came from the estate U Prošků, or Márů close to an old chain bridge of Podolsko.  An early Mára was a royal freeman.  One member of this family married in Jamný into farm Reg. No. 18. The matricula [record] of Záhoří states that here in 1660 was a farmer named Jiří Mára, who died in 1683. The Máras controlled their family farm until 1814.  One member of this family, named Tomáš Mára, married into the Hrochovský farm Reg. No. 1 in 1742.  There the Máras plied their agricultural trade until 1929, when the estate was taken over by the family of Velíšek,  through marriage.  The scriptuiralist and historician of the family and the village of Jamný Matěj Mára, came from this family, and has written the booklet entitled, The Village of Jamný and the Descent of the Máras.


End Notes:

Land Records, Kept for Tax Purposes by the State (Kadastry) / Cadastre
Four major tax and land surveys were carried out by the Austrian state between about 1650 (The Berni Rula) and 1848. The two in between were the **Theresian Cadastre (in the reign of Maria Theresa) and the Josefian Cadastre (in the reign of her son Joseph). These give the names of the holders of land (serfs) with a description of the parcels they worked. The last one also has color maps showing the individual parcels of land and houses. These have NOT been copied and are housed in the State Central Archives in Prague. 
Some genealogical services offer for a fee, to send you copies of this record for your village…. “[Source: extracted from information found at >> ]

Matricula:  can be defined as an official record document, ledger, or identifucation paper or card

Sattelite view of the Jamny and Zahori area >>