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Jan and Anna Bravenec

Bravenec Family History contributed by James V. Woodrick


            Bravenec family origins are in the villages of eastern Moravia near the town of Vstein.  The first known member of this family is Jan Bravenec who was born in 1769 in Leskovec.   He moved to the village of Katerinice, five miles northwest of Vsetin, in 1792 when he married Anna, daughter of Jiri and Marina Vrba, and lived with his wifeís family in House 52.  Their three sons Tomas, Jiri and Jan were born in this house.  Around 1810 Jan Bravenec built House #115 in the wooded Hoystyn hills about 1 mile from Katerinice, overlooking that village in the valley below (attached image).  Five generations of the Bravenec family were to live in this house over the next 70 years.  The Bravenecís attended the protestant church in nearby Ratibor, where all the family marriages and baptisms were performed. 

            Jiri Bravenec was born September 2, 1797 and married Anna, daughter of Josef and Rosina Hunka.  He was a cottager by trade.  They had two sons, Tomas and Jan.  After Jiri died in 1830, Anna remarried widower Stepan Adamek from Prozno House #15.  An inventory of the property of Jiri Bravenec was recorded following his death.  His eldest son Tomas inherited the estate, consisting of farm implements, tools, household goods, grain, furniture, clothes, food and cattle, valued at 165 Goldens and 55 Kreutzers.  A drawing of this property was made by Ladislav Baletka, a professor and historian specializing in Czech immigration from eastern Moravia to America.  It provides excellent images of items that would have typically been owned by rural Czech residents in the early 1800ís

            Tomas Bravenec was born on June 20, 1821, in House #115 in Katerinice.  He married Anna, daughter of Tomas and Katerina Hrabacek, in 1838.  They had one son, Jan and five daughters Rosina (died young), Johana, Anna, Marina and Rosina.  Tomas was listed in the 1857 census as a farmer who bred two cows, three sheep and one pig. 

            Jan Bravenec was born on March 3, 1842, in House #115.  He married Anna, daughter of Martin and Rosina Nowosad Marek of Mikuluvka.   They had five sons in Katerinice; John J., Thomas, Stepan (died young), Steven and Martin.  He was a forester / game warden in the wooded hills around Katerinice.    In 1880 Jan and Anna decided to emigrate to the United States.  Their passport was granted on October 14, 1880, in the district office at Valasske Mezirici.  They traveled by train to a port in Germany, then by sailing ship to arrive in Galveston in late 1880, then to Austin County where they rented a house in Nelsonville.  Jan worked ten years as a farm laborer among the growing Czech population in that area.  Jan and Anna had two more daughters in Nelsonville, Annie and Albina, and a son Joseph.  Enough money was saved to purchase 103 acres near Nelsonville in 1891 and to build a house for the family on their new farm.  Jan became a naturalized United States citizen on November 1, 1886.  In 1898 an adjacent 144-acre farm was purchased.  A kitchen was added to the house in early 1900, only to have it blown off its foundation blocks by the great Galveston hurricane that fall.  Jan and his family farmed this land until his death in 1900.    Janís daughter Annie married Herman Krause and they bought the original 103 acres including the house from her mother Anna in 1912.  Anna continued to live with Annie and Herman until her death in 1936.  The Krauseís had one son Edwin who married Elsie Maresh and continued to live in the Bravenec homestead until 1979.   Albina Bravenec married Emil Ueckert.  John J. Bravenec married Louise Janecek.  Thomas Bravenec married Mary Vasuta

            Steven Bravenec was born on July 2, 1877, in Katerinice, Moravia.  He immigrated with his family to Texas in 1880 and grew up in the Nelsonville area.  He married Frances Shiller in 1904, the eldest daughter of Wincent Samuel and Frances Kamenicky Shiller (attched photo).  Wincent (Vincenc) Shiller came to Texas with his parents Frantisek and Rosalie Coufal Silar in 1853 on the bark SUWA.  They were from Nepomuky in northeastern Bohemia, near the village of Horni Cermna, the ancestral Silar family homeland.  His mother and several siblings and their families were with the first Czechs to come as a group to settle in Texas, arriving in Galveston in 1851 on the sailing ship MARIA.   Steven and Frances Shiller Bravenec had three children; Jerry, Sadie and Gilbert.  In 1909 they built a house near the original Bravenec homestead on the 144 acres purchased in 1898.  Steven and his family farmed their 144 acres, raising cotton as a cash crop and corn and other vegetables for food for themselves and their cows and hogs.  They sold live chickens and other produce at Louis Albertís mercantile store in Nelsonville, and sold cream skimmed from the milk of their cows to Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham.  

            Gilbert Bravenec was born on December 21, 1913, in his parentís home near Nelsonville.  In 1934 he married Sadie Kroulik of Smithville, daughter of Joseph and Anna Janecek Kroulik.  The Kroulik and Janecek families immigrated to Texas from Dzbanov and Voderady in northeastern Bohemia on the bark SUWA in 1853, settling initially in Austin County near Industry.  Sadie Kroulik was born on July 16, 1907, in Oak Hill near the Bravenec homestead whefe her father was a blacksmith.  The Krouliks later moved to Smithville where her father owned and operated a blacksmith & wheelwright shop.     Sadie Bravenec married Joe Korenek; they lived first on the Korenek homestead adjacent to the Bravenecs, later they moved to Bellville.  Jerry Bravenec married Alvina Zoytka.  They lived in the Stephen Bravenec home.




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