Person:Jan Krejča (1)

Jan Joseph krejča
m. 13 Jul 1830
  1. Marie krejča1829 -
  2. Matej krejča1831 - 1832
  3. Anna krejča1834 -
  4. Matej krejča1837 -
  5. Jan Joseph krejča1840 - 1929
  • HJan Joseph krejča1840 - 1929
  • WAnna mikolas1855 - 1929
m. 3 Feb 1875
  1. Marie (May) krejca1877 - 1941
  2. Vaclav krejca1879 - 1880
  3. Anna krejca1881 - 1963
  4. Joseph krejca1884 - 1900
  5. Frank Joseph Kracha1889 - 1973
Facts and Events
Name Jan Joseph krejča
Gender Male
Birth[1] 15 Jan 1840 Lipice 7, Pelhrimov, Bohemia
Christening? Pelhrimov, Pelhrimov, Bohemia
Marriage 3 Feb 1875 Nova Cerekev, Pelhrimov, Pelhrimov, Bohemiato Anna mikolas
Death? 18 Nov 1929 Chicago, Cook, Illinois
Burial? 22 Nov 1929 Two Rivers, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Reference Number? 4

The year of his birth varies: Passenger list for entry into New York indicates he was born in 1840. Roman Catholic rectory Register shows 1840. 1900 Census shows May 1844; 1910 Census shows 1842; 1920 Census indicates 1843. Naturalization Certificate shows 1843. Obituary indicates he was born in 1843.

In Lipice, the Krejca family lived with Marie's brother Matej Barta who then owned the Barta family farm #7 Lipice. The midwife was Maria, wife of Mateg Satler, a field cottager from #18 Lipice. Jan's godparents were Antonjn Ssaustek (resident and master shoemaker from #70 Pelhrimov) and his wife Katerina. He was baptised by Joannes Bauerhansl, chaplain.

On 26 December 1860, Jan entered the service of M.J. Regiment of the King and Emperor's Navy. He entered the service without any profession and upon discharge at the Naval Base Pola, Croatia, was provided with a Discharge Certificate dated 15 July 1867 requesting all authorities to enable Johann "free passage and to support him in his endeavors".

When he was married, in 1875, he was listed as "a peasant cottager of full age and full rights". An agreement for the marriage was executed on January 29, 1875 just four days before the marriage itself. A translation of the agreement is held by John Kracha, his grandson.

An increasing rural population and a dwindling supply of farmland had begun to put pressure upon the rural economies of Bohemia and Moravia. Many farmers were forced to earn their livelihoods from increasingly smaller farming plots. In 1873, an economic crash shook the Austrian Empire, resulting in a serious agricultural depression in the Czech countryside. Crop failures, falling grain prices and farm foreclosures further contributed to a second major wave of emigration that occurred during the 1880s and early 1890s. Thousands of small Czech farmers, rural laborers and village artisans now came to America to escape economic hardship at home

Many years ago, apparently someone came up to the village of Pelhrimov to convince the residents that the United States was truly a mountain of gold and all they had to do was sell their property in Bohemia and go to America. There was an article originally printed in 1883 entitled "Emigrants to America Please Take Notice" translated from Czech in June 1995 that appears in NASE RODINA, September 1995, Vol 7 No.3 that provides some background of the proposed trip.

Jan realized later that this this man was just there to get a commission on their passage money. He had no connections with anyone in America.

When someone wanted to immigrate, legally they had to apply for permission to do so. This meant that they went to the authorities who drew up a list of names of emigrees and posted them for all to see. This was so that creditors or others with some legal right to the person or his goods could register their case with the authorities. The emigree had to pay off all debts, or have someone agree to take them over before they were given the right to leave.Young men who were of military age were supposed to complete their duty before they could get permission to leave; the authorities at German ports could send back those who did not have the right documents - in their eyes.There then were records made of the results of the announcement, and the individuals got their papers. However, many of these records did not survive to modern times. There was no requirement to lists ships or ports of disembarkment. People could emigrate to other places as well as America. Some people did not know the ship until they actually got to the port; they might have been sold a ticket for a particular line, but I don't think they 'booked' a berth on a particular sailing.Also, some people just wanted to leave because of the financial or personal burden they had and did not go through the proscribed process, but just stole away in the night!

The 1900 Census has the name spelled "Krotchi" and the family was living at Dwelling 146 Williams Street. John was living there with his family Anna, Michael Macalash, daughter Annie and sons Joseph and Frank. The ages are not quite right as the record shows John (1844), Anna (1858), Michael (1819), Annie (1882), Joseph (1884) and Frank (1889). John and Anna had been married 26 years. Anna indicated that she had given birth to five children and four were still alive. This is in agreement in that Vaclav had died in infancy. They stated that they had immigrated to America in 1885 and that John was naturalized. John, Annie and Joseph were day laborers. All in the family could read and write but John, Anna and Michael could not speak English. John owned the house and was paying a mortgage.

The 1920 Census indicates that he first immigrated to the United States in 1870 but this had to be in error because he was married in Bohemia in 1875. Jan immigrated to U.S. aboard the S.S. WIELAND and arrived in New York with his family on 15 May 1886. Originally, it was thought that Jan's father-in-law accompanied them but a review of the passenger list for the S.S. Weiland does not contain his name. The passenger list for another ship arriving from Hamburg on the same date is also lacking the name of Matej Mikolas. He must have come later. There were a lot of Bohemians who came to Wisconsin to farm.

Originally, the Krachas started a farm north of Two Rivers in Kewaunee County. Jan had been a successful farmer in Bohemia and he bought about 60 acres near the village of Norman. When they got there they found the land was gently rolling but full or rocks. Jan paid $235 to Frank Reigl for the property. Data on the mortgage is filed separately as "DEED.KEW" includes acquisition and eventual sale of the property. Members of the family manually picked out the rocks and tried to develop a farm but reluctantly gave up and lost the farm. In reconstruction of some of the dates, it appears that they may have lived on the farmland from about 1886 to 1894 and retained ownership until about 1898.

Son, Frank, related that the man who sold the farm to his father was of unsavory character as he took most of Jan's savings and sold this land to a man unfamiliar with the territory. In 1996, descendants John Kracha and Frances (Kracha) Dias visited the area. Now the surrounding countryside is still gently rolling and the the property that Jan purchased so many years ago is still surrounded by rock. It actually appeared to have a small quarry on-site.

About 1894, they moved to Two Rivers. Jan made a purchase of property at 1616 23rd Street from David Nottage in August 1898. The file "DEED.TR" provides a history of this land transaction and that of the neighboring property later occupied by his son, Frank, and his family. In 1900, he lived in Dwelling Unit 146 on Williams Street in Two Rivers, WI. He was a day laborer at Hamilton Manufacturing Company and was buying "a" house. There was a Special Census in 1895 that showed that Father and Son were still living on Williams Street. The 1910 Census shows that he owned the house.

He was naturalized as a citizen on 30 Dec 1918. At that time, he was 75 years old and 5 foot 6 inches and gray hair. He listed that he had previously been a subject of Austria.

An Index to Two Rivers Residents 1901-1902 has a listing for John Kretcha, Metalworker, res 418 Williams. This is the same address as that of Martin Micolash. Apparently, Jan had bought the property on 23rd Street and had his house built while the family was living on Williams Street Between 1910 and 1920, the family moved to their home on 23rd Street. The 1920 Census shows that Jan, his wife and son Frank were living at 1616-23rd Street. Jan is shown as "John" in the 1910 Census and his occupation is shown as "Day Laborer". He had been fully employed during the year. He was able to read and write but could not speak English.

According to the news article of the death of his wife, one of the most happy events of Jan and Anna was when they celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary in 1925.

Jan was taken ill while visiting his daughter, Anna, in Chicago and worsened over the next several weeks. Fr. A.G.Valicak was the attending priest at the time of his death in Chicago. Jan reportedly received all of the Sacraments prior to his death. His remains were returned to Two Rivers and the funeral services were held at St. Luke's Catholic Church on 22 November 1929 with the Rev. C.V Hugo officiating. The date of burial was delayed so his son, Frank, his wife Rosalie, and their children Frances and Anne who were living in the Los Angeles area, could be present at the funeral. Interment was at Calvary Cemetary, Section 12, Lot 5, Space 3.

!BIRTH: Register Nr 22, Roman Catholic rectory of Pelhrimov, page 24

!MARRIAGE: Register of the Roman Catholic rectory of Nova Cerekev, Index Nr. 15-0-1820-1891, page 153

IMMIGRATION: "Czech Immigration Passenger Lists, New York 1881-1886, Galveston 1880-1886" Volume VI by Leo Baca, 1707 Woodcreek, Richardson, TX 75082

MORTGAGE: General Index Mortgages, Grantor 1881-1891, Kewaunee County" Instrument number 29783, June 9, 1886, 11:00 a.m. Krejci, Jan & W, Grantee: Frank Reigl, Description of Land:E1/2SWSE&NWSEof Section 19-22-24, Recorded Vol. U Page 443 Delivered to Frank Geigl, Fee: $1.00

CENSUS: U.S. Census 1900, Two Rivers, Manitowoc, WI, S.D. 3, Sheet B, E.D. 89 Page 8. Line 90

CENSUS: U.S.Census, 1910, Two Rivers, Manitowoc, WI, Ward 4, E.D. 41, Page 19B.

CENSUS: U.S. Census, 1920, Two Rivers, Manitowoc, WI, S.D. 5, E.D. 124, Sheet10A

NATURALIZATION: Naturalization Certificate 563034 Petition Vol. 4 Number 578 dated 30 Dec 1918 Clerk of Circuit Court, Manitowoc County, WI.

!DEATH: Interment Record, Two Rivers, WI ltr dtd 9 April 1996. Copy held by John K. Kracha, 358 East Millan Street, Chula Vista, CA 91910-6314

!DEATH: Obituary of John Kracha, TWO RIVERS REPORTER & CHRONICAL; 18 Nov 1929 film reel P74-4510; Wisconsin State Library. Copy held by John K. Kracha, 358 East Millan Street, Chula Vista, CA 91910-6314

!BURIAL: Interment Record, Two Rivers, WI ltr dtd 9 April 1996. Copy held by John K. Kracha, 358 East Millan Street, Chula Vista, CA 91910-6314

!CAUSE: Arteriosclerosis

  1. State Regional Archive in Trebon, Collection of Vital Registers, RCPO in Pelhrimov
    Vol. 22/Page 24.

    Record in Czech