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Anna Pavlicek Kroulik

Family history contributed by James V. Woodrick


            The earliest records of the Kroulik family are from the small village of Dzbanov, in the northeastern corner of the middle-ages kingdom of Bohemia in the modern Czech Republic some three miles north of the district center and medieval village of Litomysl.    Family members also lived in Voderady, another small village about a mile from Dzbanov.   As with many of the small rural villages in the Czech Republic, most of the houses are close together in a valley, surrounded by large fields devoted to various crops.   Krouliks were of the Protestant religion, belonging to the Evangelical Assembly in Sloupnice following its organization in 1782.  Prior to this time Protestants experienced significant religious oppression by the Catholic church and the ruling Austrian Hapsburg government.  They either had to emigrate from their native lands or convert to Catholicism.  Holding Protestant meetings, harboring Protestant ministers or owning non-Catholic books was met if discovered with cruel punishment.  In the parish of Ceske Hermanice, house-to-house searching was conducted from 1722 to 1747.  At least 170 forbidden books were found and confiscated.  Identified owners of these books included Jan Kroulik, Vaclav Kroulik from Lower Sloupnice, and Matej and Jan Kroulik from Vracovice.  Similar incidents involving Krouliks occurred around 1750.  Many of the Czech Protestants moved to Germany during this period in search of religious freedom.  They founded the community of Rixdorf near Berlin.  Some members of the Kroulik family made this move; a young daughter of Jakub Kroulik died in Rixdorf in September, 1751.   

            Martin Kroulik of Dzbaov had a son Vaclav who on February 17, 1717 married Anna, the widowed wife of his brother Frantisek.  Vaclav and Anna had a son Jan who was born in Dzbanov in 1720.  Jan married Anna, daughter of Jan Cerny of Dzbanov, on February 14, 1742.   They had two sons, Mikulas and Jan.

            Mikulus Kroulik was born on October 25, 1744.  As an adult he was recorded in the census as a small landowner of Dzbanov.  He married Anna on June 19, 1766, daughter of Jan Cermak of Voderady.  They had a son Joseph who was born in 1770.  On November 19, 1793 Joseph and Mariana (daughter of Jan and Anna Splichel) were married by Sloupnice protestant minister Ondrej Akos.  The Sloupnice church is shown in this 2004 photo. Mariana was born on June 25, 1775 in house # 14 in Netrebi.  They had a son Frantisek who was born about 1805. 

            On November 10, 1828, Frantisek Kroulik, a peasant of Voderady, married Anna Pavlicek, born April 27, 1805 in House # 60 in Voderady.  Her parents were Frantisek Pavlicek (born July 22, 1786, son of Jan and Anna Hubna Pavlicek) and Krystna Vasina Pavlicek (born November 7, 1779, daughter of Jan and Helena Vasina of Voderady house # 26).  Their son Jan was born on December 24, 1837 in house #45 in Voderady, as was their daughter Anna born in 1833, who later married Vaclav Janecek of Dzbanov.  Frantisek Kroulik died in 1850. 

            In 1853, Anna Pavlicek Kroulik, her son Jan and daughter and son-in-law Anna and Vaclav Janecek joined with a larger group of 22 Czech families from villages near her home and from the Horni Cermna area in the neighboring district to emigrate to Texas.  The group traveled by train from Usti Nad Orlici to the port of Bremen in Germany, departing there in October on the sailing ship SUWA and arriving in Galveston on December 24, 1853.  This was the second large group of Czechs to move to Texas, following the group of 17 Czech families, predominately members of the Silar (later spelled Shiller or Schiller) family from Horni Cermna who came two years before on the sailing ship MARIA.   Also in the SUWA group was Joseph Lidumil Lesikar and family.  He was responsible for organizing the first group migrations of Czechs to Texas, especially those who came on the MARIA and the SUWA.  Vaclav and Anna Kroulik Janecek had their first son Jan born at sea on the SUWA.  Jan Janecek’s daughter Anna was to later marry her cousin Joseph Kroulik, son of Jan Kroulik.  Anna Pavlicek Kroulik entered Texas with 800 Zlaty in Czech money from property sold prior to the voyage.  They traveled by steamboat from Galveston to Houston, then by ox cart to Austin County.  On January 19, 1854, Anna Kroulik, Vaclav Janecek and fellow SUWA passenger Frantisek Cermak bought an 80 acre farm about five miles west of Industry for $300.  They raised cotton to sell and corn, farm animals and other produce for home food consumption.  Jan Kroulik also worked as a teamster, moving cotton and other goods between their home area and Houston.  He obtained his United States citizenship on June 8, 1859. 

        On June 17, 1862, Jan Kroulik was inducted into the Confederate Army in Austin County by Captain H. Wickeland into Company D, Infantry Battalion, Waul's Texas Legion.  The following is a personal account by Kroulik of his Civil War experiences:

        "It was in the spring of 1862 when it was announced that all men between the ages of 18 and 35 will be taken into the army. We Czechoslovaks, who were settled here, felt on the side of the North and did not believe that we would be forced to serve in the Southern army. Soon after that I saw a group of riders coming to my house.  I quickly hid myself, but they left orders for me to report to the army the next day.  I was hiding in the forest for seven days because I did not wish to bear arms against the Union.  Since they continued to come to my house and threatened my mother, I decided to yield and to join the army.   I was added to Texas Wolf's (Waul's) Legion, Regiment Section D.   In this section there were 15 Czechs out of a total of 23.  We started out on that long and dangerous march.  The first night we bedded down but did not sleep because four of our men were thinking of escaping and were waiting for a convenient time.  Those four were Karl and Vincenc Lesikar (sons of Joseph Lidumil Lesikar) and two of the Votypka brothers.   They succeeded in escaping during the night and even though a group of riders was sent out after them, the Czech escapees seemed to have disappeared from the earth; they were not found."

        Waul's Texas Legion fell into captivity after losing the Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi.   John Kroulik personally asked Union General Ulysses S. Grant to permit him to join the North because he knew that as soon as the Southern prisoners were released they would be forced back into service against the Union.   Grant refused his request on the grounds that it would represent the breaking of an agreement (Jan's Confederate army enlistment oath).  Jan Kroulik, Vaclav Votypka and Jan Mikeska walked together from Vicksburg back to Texas and reached home safely.  Once home they had to stay in hiding for the Confederacy desperately needed an army and whoever was found was removed from home without any mercy and forced into the service.  Kroulik continues his narrative describing those stormy times in Texas:

             "As soon as we came home everyone was telling us that we will be forced to return to the army, and it was true.  Anyone who did not volunteer was sent after.  In the spring of 1864 the rebels acted without any consideration; they sent soldiers into the homes and they remained there until the deserters returned.  Needless to say, the rough soldiers mistreated all members of the family to help the return of the deserters. Property was needlessly destroyed. One day several of them dashed to my brother-in-law, Vaclav Janecek and ordered him to tell where the deserters were hidden.  At that time I was hidden under the floor in the stable.  I could hear them as they talked and were walking around taking care of their horses.  I had to stay there until the night came and I was breathing quietly expecting to be discovered at any moment.  It did not happen and at night when they went into the house to eat, I slowly came out and after carefully covering my hiding place, I ran into the woods nearby.  As several days passed by and the soldiers did not leave, my brother-in-law went to Houston to the headquarters and complained how his family suffered with the soldiers and before he returned they were gone.  

“Now things got a little better. When we would hear that the enforcers were coming we fled into the woods and hid in the thickets where we waited until they left.  There were people here who gave reports to the soldiers as soon as we returned home but others again gave us warnings when to leave. During the night of July 13 to 14 Thomas Votypka and I dared to enter the home of my partner and, as everything was quiet, we spent the night.  Early in the morning as we planned to leave after breakfast, I looked out of the window and to my surprise I saw the rebels coming over the fence.  ‘The catchers are here!’  I called and we ran into the fields as fast as our feet could carry us.  The rebels fired several shots after us which only speeded us up a little more.  They caught Votypka and I entered a corn field through which I reached the woods nearby thinking that would be my safety.   

     “As soon as I crossed one little thicket I saw a soldier standing before me.  He had been left behind guarding the horses.  At that moment I did not know what to do.  I saw that the rebel had a gun, but I still would have tried to run if I would not have seen the three large bloodhounds which he had with him.  At that moment other soldiers came to get the dogs to trace someone who had escaped into the woods.  As I happened to be the one who escaped, there was no need to release the dogs. Thomas Votypka had been wounded in the shoulder. We were tied together and led to the camp.  From the camp we were taken to Galveston to be brought for an army trial.  Votypka got sick with yellow fever and was taken to the hospital where he died. I was told everywhere that I was going to be shot to death, which according to existing conditions among the rebels was quite ordinary. There was a German soldier here who was also condemned to die.  Before the time of our trial, an epidemic of yellow fever broke out in Galveston and we were taken to a camp about two miles from Houston. From there John Votypka was able to escape. 

“The epidemic spread to the camp and we had to be deported to Millican, northeast of Houston, where we were put into a warehouse.  Guards were placed all around so there was no thought of escape now; nevertheless, I waited for the first frost when I would attempt to escape.  With the help of a few Germans who had the same idea, we cut an opening through the floor and on November 27 I lowered myself down first and before I knew it I was outside.   I waited until the guards scattered and then started crawling on the ground, holding my blanket in my teeth and expecting a bullet to whiz by at any minute.  It did not happen and I found myself free and did not know which way to turn.  I did not dare to walk along the road for anyone going anywhere had to have a pass. On the other hand I had the deep river Brazos in front of me and at each crossing there was a guard.  I walked around all night and in the morning I hid in a thicket and decided to wait for the night.  I was surprised however when I heard the noise of a train at Millican.  I must have been walking in a circle around the town, while I thought I was walking away from it. Several hunters went around with dogs and even though they came close to my hiding place I was unnoticed and thus saved.   After a long walk I reached the river bank.  I swam the river and gladly started another walk. I had suffered a lot and was afraid.

“One morning during a heavy fog I heard a horn blowing; again I knew I was near the rebel camp and so as not to fall right into their hands I came to a high cedar tree in which I spent the whole day.  Finally after nine days and nights I found myself among my own again.  In those nine days I had eaten only two ears of corn which I had found in the field, but I suffered most with thirst.  Once I did not find a drop of water for three days.  I felt the results for a long period of time.   As soon as I was thirsty and did not get a drink right away my whole body started shaking and I had to rest immediately.  From that day I kept on hiding every day until the war was over."

            After the Civil War, Jan Kroulik was an early member and helped build the Wesley Unity of the Brethren Church, the first Czech protestant church established in Texas in 1866.  Jan married Frantiska Pachr on May 28, 1868.  She was born on September 24, 1839, in Chotebudice, Moravia, daughter of Jacub and Victoria Zaskoda Pachr.    They had nine children, Cecile (Frnka), Marie (died young), William, John (Nelsonville physician), Frances (Langer), Frank (Smithville physician), Joseph Ladislav, Rudolph, and Hugo.  Anna Pavlicek Kroulik died in 1869 and was buried on their farm near Industry.  Frantiska Pachr Kroulik died May 14, 1898 and Jan Kroulik died April 5, 1920.  Both are buried in the Industry Brethren Cemetery. 

            Joseph Ladislav Kroulik, born born August 3, 1878 on the farm near Industry, married his cousin Anna, daughter of Jan and Mary Valicek Janecek.  She was born on September 15, 1884, in New Bremen, Texas.  Joseph was a blacksmith by trade, first in Oak Hill and later in Smithville where he owned and operated a blacksmith and wheelwright shop.  Their children were Sadie, Leonard, Ollie and Anna Jo.  Leonard served in WW II, worked in Fort Worth for Leonard Bros. and Cummings Supply, and died July 9, 1983.  Ollie died at age 18 in an automobile accident in Smithville.  Anna Jo was born October 30, 1924 in Smithville.  She married Winston Harris.  Anna Janecek Kroulik died October 22, 1937.  Joseph Kroulik lived his later years with his daughter Sadie and her husband at Oak Hill in Austin County.  He died October 15, 1965; he and his wife are buried at Oak Hill cemetery in Smithville.

            Sadie Kroulik was born July 16, 1907 in Oak Hill. Shortly after her birth her family moved to Smithville where she was raised.  Sadie attended college at Trinity University and with the help of her uncle Dr. John Kroulik in Nelsonville, secured a position to teach elementary school in New Bremen where she lived with her aunt and uncle E.J. and Rose Shiller Janecek.  Here she met Gilbert Bravenec who she married on November 8, 1934.    They lived on the Bravenec homestead near Oak Hill, in Bellville for several years,  and then back at Oak Hill for the rest of their lives.  Sadie was a substitute teacher at Bellville elementary school for several years.  Her husband Gilbert raised cattle on their property near Oak Hill, worked for the Sante Fe railroad at the Bellville regional maintenance roundhouse and for the Austin County Soil Conservation Service.  




MARTIN KROULIK (of Dzbanov, Cechy)            


Frantisek  Born about 1674, married Anna before 1711,  died 3 JUN 1716.                  




wife:  Anna on 17 FEB 1717, widow of his brother Frantisek            

son:  Jan  born 1720 in Dzbanov


JAN KROULIK           

wife:     Anna, married on 14 FEB 1742, who was born about 1720, daughter of Jan Cerny of Dzbanov.            


Mikulas   born 25 OCT 1744                  

Jan  (of Sloupnice)


MIKULAS KROULIK   (small landowner of Dzbanov)              

wife:    Anna on 19 JUN 1766, daughter of Jan Cermak of Voderady             

son:  Josef  born 1770


JOSEF KROULIK  (small landowner of Dzbanov House #12)              

wife:  Mariana, married on 19 NOV 1793 by Sloupnice Protestant minister Ondrej Akos.  Marianna was born 24 JUN 1775 in Netrebi House #14, daughter of Jan and Anna Splichel.

son:  Frantisek born about 1805


FRANTISEK KROULIK  (peasant of Voderady)             

wife:    Anna, married on 10 NOV 1828, was  born 27 APR 1805 in Voderady House #60, daughter of Frantisek (born 22 JUL 1786, son of Jan and Anna Hubna Pavlicek) and Krystyna  (born 7 NOV 1779, daughter of Jan and Helena Vasina of Voderady House #26).  Frantisek and Krystyna Pavlicek were married 15 OCT 1804 by Protestant minister Stephan Wassarhely in Sloupnice.  Anna immigrated to Texas in 1853, died in 1869 and was buried on her farm in Schoenau.


Jan  born 24 DEC 1837 in Voderady House #45.                        

Anna born 1833, married Vaclav Janecek, died 19 MAR 1917, buried National Cemetery, Nelsonville            

died:   in Cechy in 1850.


JAN KROULIK              

wife:  Frantiska Pachr, daughter Jacub and Victoria Zaskoda Pachr.  Born 24 SEP 1839, in Chotebudice, Moravia; immigrated to Texas in 1855.  Married on 28 MAY 1868; died 14 MAY 1898, buried Industry Brethren Church.       Jan Kroulik died 5 APR 1920 and was buried in Industry Brethren Church Cemetery. 


Cecilie (Frnka) buried New Ulm Frnka Cemetery                        

Marie (died as infant)                        

William (buried Oak Hill Cemetery, Smithville)                         

John (Nelsonville physician, office restored and moved to Winklemann Village near Chappell Hill). Married Teresie Lesikar.  Buried New Ulm Cemetery.                                               

Frances  born MAY 1875.  Married Frank Langer. Buried Wesley Brethren Church.              

Frank  born 13 JAN 1877 (Smithville physician) died 10 JAN 1957; buried Oak Hill Cemetery, Smithville                        

Joseph Ladislav  born 8/3/1878 in Austin County. Married Anna Janecek (daughter of Jan and Mary Valicek Janecek), who was born 15 SEP 1884, died 22 OCT 1937, buried Oak Hill Cemetery, Smithville.  Died 15 OCT 1965, buried Oak Hill Cemetery, Smithville.

Rudolph  born 10/1880.  buried Shiner City Cemetery                        

Hugo  born 11/1882.  buried Industry Brethren Church Cemetery      




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