In 1789 the ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity cut across aristocratic France with the sharp edge of the guillotine. Out of this revolution was born the career of Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French and conqueror of much of Europe.
Since Napoleon’s armies carried with them the principles of the French Revolution, the upstart emperor found a natural enemy in Hapsburg Austria, which was still half-submerged in its history of feudalism and intolerance.
On December 2, 1805, one of the great battles of the Napoleonic Wars was fought outside the Moravian city of Brno. At the Battle of Austerlitz Napoleon’s troops defeated the combined forces of imperial Austria and tsarist Russia.
The Napoleonic Wars did not liberate the Czech Crown Lands from the Austrian yoke. The armies that crossed the countryside and the deaths and wounded soldiers that resulted from the battles, however, brought in their wake epidemics, especially typhus.
The following deaths were recorded in the Rychaltice Catholic Church records for Horni Sklenov, a northeastern Moravian village that sent many Czech emigrants to Texas. Many of the names recorded here are familiar to Texas Czechs. Most certainly they include some of our ancestors.
♦ Josef, son of Mikulas Hlozek, died January 17, 1805, house no. 30, age 7 years, cause spasms
♦ Magdalena, daughter of Jan Jalufka, died May 23, 1805, house no. 15, age ¾ year, cause emaciation
♦ Fabian Hermis, died November 22, 1805, house no. 27, age 80 years, cause epidemic
♦ Mariana Macula from Bordovice, died December 23, 1805, house no. 8, age 70 years, cause epidemic
♦ Magdalena Sedlacek, died December 26, 1805, house no. 8, age 80 years, cause stroke
♦ Anna Kubos, died January 8, 1806, house no. 11, age 60 years, cause epidemic
♦ Vaclav, son of Martin Hermis, died January 15, 1806, house no. 28, age ¼ year, cause spasms
♦ Mariana Lichnovsky born Belik, died January 18, 1806, house no. 18, age 88 years, cause epidemic
♦ Frantisek Volny also called Kubos, died January 23, 1806, house no. 5, age 70 years, cause epidemic
♦ Magdalena, wife of Frantisek Koza, died February 12, 1806, house no. 6, age 70 years, cause epidemic
♦ Anna, daughter of Jiri Koza, died March 6, 1806, house no. 11, age 24 years, cause epidemic
♦ Johana, daughter of Jan Fojtik, died March 6, 1806, house no. 29, age 1 ½ years, cause epidemic
♦ Magdalena, widow of Fabian Hermis, died March 15, 1806, house no. 27, age 70 years, cause epidemic
♦ Vaclav Hermis from Mnisi, died March 15, 1806, house no. 27, age 70 years, cause epidemic
♦ Ondrej, son of Jiri Kubos, died March 27, 1806, house no. 5, age 4 months, cause frailty
♦ Barbora, daughter of Martin Hermis, died December 17, 1806, house no. 28, age 4 years, cause emaciation
– Robert Janak
“The 1806 Epidemic in Horni Sklenov, Moravia,” Cesky Hlas, September 1992, page 17.
[Note: The original table has been reformatted to a list with bullets.]