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The Saga of Matej Souhrada (1833–1905) and Veronika Luzum Souhrada (1835–1912) 

   by Jiri Souhrada, Pisek, Czech Republic

Matej Souhrada was born (03 March 1833) on a farm located in the village of Novosedlo, Bohemia, at house #2.  He was the son of Matej Souhrada, a farmer and Anna Stara from Oslov.[1]  He later attended school on a farm in the village of Horni Zahori, a place where the children also worked every day.  Despite his schooling, he was not able to write very well, and as a ten-year-old boy, he was assigned to a heavy workload on the farm.  As a young man Matej had to serve in the army; at the end of which he returned to the village of Brloh, house #7 where he worked as a farm laborer.  The location of #7 Brloh is situated only .8 of a mile from the Drhovle “country house” of a modern day Souhrada.  Mr. Jiri Souhrada, the resident and a family researcher, has read that local farm laborers in 1855-1860 often visited a pub in Drhovle, which later turns out to be this “country house” of his.  Perhaps our subject, Matej Souhrada even visited this place when it was a local pub!


Matej Souhrada became acquainted with Veronika Luzum while both worked at the same farm.  Veronika toiled as a maid for five years on the farm located at #2 Brloh; Matej worked at this same farm as a laborer for three years.  The couple was married on 24 October 1859 in the Parish of Cizova; both were noted as “single and Catholic”. Matej was 26 years of age and Veronika was 23.  She was born in the village of Dubi Hora, near Drhovle, on 04 February 1835, the daughter of Matej Luzum and Anna Volf who was from the village of Borice.  Witnesses for the wedding of Matej and Veronika were, Jan Hesoun from Cizova and Anton Lusk, a cottager from Dolni Novosedly, #20.  Anton Lusk was quite possibly a good friend of the couple, as after the wedding, Matej and Veronika returned to Dolni Novosedly, to take up residence at house #20.  This was the location of a pub; known in records as “by Lusk”.  Matej rented the pub at #20 Dolni Novosedly and continued to work on the farm at #2 Brloh.  An interesting fact for this pub located in Novosedly is that it could only sell beer that was produced by the brewery located in Drhovle.

While living in Bohemia, the couple welcomed the birth of three children:
 - Jan/Johann Souhrada, born May 24, 1864        

 - Anna Veronika Souhrada, born September 21, 1866   

 - Thomas J. Souhrada, born November 20, 1869

Roughly eleven months after the birth of son Thomas, the family set out for their emigration to America.  The passenger manifest of the Bark Amaranth shows the family as follows:

I. B. VON HAGEN, Master of the N (illegible) Bark, Amaranth, do solemnly swear, sincerely and truly that the following List or Manifest subscribed by me, and now delivered by me to the Collector of the Customs of the Collection District of New York, is a list of all the passengers taken on board of the said vessel at Bremen, said vessel has now arrived; and that on said list is truly designated the age, the sex, and the occupation of each of said passenger of the vessel occupied by each during the passage, the country to which each belongs, and also the country of which it is intended by each  to become an inhabitant; said List or Manifest truly sets forth the number of said passengers who have died on said voyage, and the names and ages of those who died.  So help me God.

Sworn to this 25th of May 1870.  Berth #837


[Note: From the American Heritage Dictionary we find the definition of a bark/barque: (noun): a sailing ship with from three to five masts, all of them square rigged except the after mast, which is fore-and-aft rigged.  A small sailing vessel.]


The column headings at the top of each page read as follows:


Entry #





Country To Which Belongs

Country Intending To Settle

Died During Voyage

Type of Accommodation


Mathias Souhrada





to New York

(no entry)



Veronika Souhrada









Johann Souhrada









Anna Souhrada









Thomas Souhrada

11 months







* All males shown with "workman", if no other trade is given

Signed by I. B. Von Hagen, New York

In May 2001 information was received from a descendant of another passenger of this crossing in 1870, concerning the fate of this “ship of our ancestors”, as well as a picture taken in 1913.


The bark Amaranth ran aground on the south shore of Jarvis Island on August 30, 1913.[5]   Jarvis Island is only 1.7 sq. mi., and is uninhabited. At that time a Mr. Harold G. Jewell, Jr. was doing research on Jarvis Island, and here is what he recorded in an article he wrote.  "On the north shore reef there are coral incrusted metal ship fittings cemented fast to the reef. These appear much older than their counter parts on the south shore. There is located the wreck of the Barkentine Amaranth, that ran aground on the night of August 30, 1913."    Jarvis Island is located in what is called the Line Islands of the Central Pacific, near the equator 1300 miles south of Honolulu in an unincorporated territory of the United States.


The family of Matej Souhrada safely made the ocean crossing, and in July 26, 1871 another son by the name of Frank C. was born to the couple in Cleveland, Ohio.  Three years later, we find mention of his filing for American citizenship in 1874 Ohio:

Cuyahoga County, Ohio - Probate Court Naturalizations [Sa - Z Surnames]

File # 34815 

Name: Souhrada, Matthias                    

Name of Vol.: DOA 

Vol. # 6, Pg. # 37   

From: Bohemia         

Date of Arrival: May 1870     

Date of Declaration: 10/12/1874


The following May 09, 1874 a daughter by the name of Rosa/Rose is born in Cleveland, and followed by a last child named Antoinette “Nettie” who was born April 23, 1878, Cleveland, Ohio.

To view additional photos of Matej and Veronica Souhrada, click here > Matej and Veronica Photo Album

[1] Birth registry for Matej Souhrada; located in the Archives in Trebon, for the Parish Zahori.

[2]  Marriage registry for Matej Souhrada and Veronika Luzum; located in the Archives in Trebon, for the Parish Cizova.

[3] Extrapolated years, from the Passenger manifest of the Bark Amaranth; month and day dates from family records.

[4] Microfilm record of Passenger Lists for the Port of New York, May 18, 1870 to May 20, 1870; Filmed by the LDS Church, Film Catalogue # 0175684; Bark Amaranth

[5] Publication called, "Hawaiian Shell News," April 1961 issue].