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After having learned a great deal about our Bransford and Shirley ancestors, we were anxious to learn more about Marty’s family. We knew that her dad had been born in Frenstat pod Radhostem, Moravia, and I had stopped over in the Czech Republic for a weekend enroute to South Africa in 1978. During this visit, I took a side trip to Frenstat where I took many slides of the village that delighted Marty’s dad.

This first visit was, unfortunately, too short to accomplish much in the way of genealogical research (besides, I didn’t know the language!) and, even during subsequent trips with Marty and Don and, even later, with Marty’s brother, A. L. and his wife, we uncovered little about the Dressler history and none about the Valicek history.

In 1993, we decided to get serious about researching the Dresslers and Valiceks and, on a visit to Czechoslovakia in June, Marty started looking through telephone books and making notes of names and addresses containing “Dressler” or “Valicek” in those areas where we thought her ancestors might have lived.When we returned to California I wrote letters to each of the names we had harvested - about thirty in all.

This effort had two spectacular results! Early one morning (about 3 a.m.), we were awakened in Tustin by a phone call that started “Jerry, this is George Dressler in Czechoslovakia. You wrote me a letter recently…”. That was the start of a great friendship and productive in the genealogical area as well. In 1994 we were invited to visit George and his wife, Bozena, at their home in Tasov - a village near Brno where they also had their main home.

On that visit, George and Bozena took us to the archives in Brno and in Opava where we found complete records of the Leopold Dressler (Marty’s grandfather) family. Unfortunately, we have not yet established a link to George’s family (although the spelling of the name is the same and his family locale was in an area only 30 km from Frenstat. We will continue to investigate whether there is a family connection but - no matter - we have already adopted George and his family into the Texas Dressler Family.

The other result of the letter writing effort was a letter from Dr. Ladislav Baletka, the archivist for the region of Vsetin. One of the Valiceks to whom we had written our letter of inquiry had taken the letter to Dr. Baletka and he generously responded by sending us the family records of both the Valiceks and the Zbraneks (the maiden name of Marty’s maternal grandmother).

This also developed into a beautiful friendship with Ladislav and his family and he also graciously agreed to develop more information on the Dressler family as well.

Most of the history you will see on these pages was either compiled by the Dresslers and Baletkas or with their help. We were also able to fill in a few tidbits with the help of the sister and the wife of Drahomir Strnadel, the mayor of Trojanovice - a village adjoining Frenstat and the home of Marty’s paternal grandmother.

A young Dressler family in Frenstat, Moravia, Czechoslovakia.

Standing, on the left, is Jan, then his sister, Marie, Frantisek (the oldest), Leopold (twin to Marie) and the little boy on the right is Marty's dad, Louis.
Seated in front of Louis is his younger sister, Anna. Next to her, seated, is Grandfather Leopold and his wife, Marie.
We don't know who the lady seated on the left is.

The Dresslers of Moravia undoubtedly immigrated to the Sudeten Mountain area of Northern Moravia from Germany when the Moravian lords wanted to open up more land and wanted the additional skills the Germans could bring to them. Dr. Baletka believes this occurred in the 13th or 14th century (1200’s or 1300’s).

The earliest record we have found of the Dressler family in this region shows them to have been in Kosetice (Kirschendorf in German). Kosetice is near Sádek (Zattig) which, at the time of the early Dresslers was under the judicial region of Bruntal. It is now under the judicial region of Opava. Both Kosetice and Sádek are near the larger town of Velke Heraltice and are now considered to be parts of it.

Over the generations the spelling of the family name has changed—just as it has in our other family members but in the case of the Dressler family the spelling seems to be a function of whether it is in German or Czech or Latin. In fact, many of the records are in one of these languages depending upon the time of the record and whichever language was most in favor at the time. Latin was the early choice because the records were then kept by the Catholic Church (after all, Moravia was, at one time, a part of the Holy Roman Empire).

The family name in German was “Droßler”, using the Teutonic letter “ß” in a spelling of “Drossler”. It has also been spelled “Dröhsler”, “Dröhslar”, “Dresler”, and “Dressler”.

One of the problems we encountered in attempting to locate the Dressler relatives in Czech Republic was undoubtedly due to the forced repatriation of peoples of German descent from the Sudetenland of Northern Moravia back to Germany. There was a lot of resentment among Moravians when the Germans started arriving in Northern Moravia even though they were emigrating at the invitation of the Moravian lords.

The Sudetenland (a 20th-century term) is a geographical region in northern Czechoslovakia, inhabited until 1946 by Germans. It comprises portions of the Sudeten Mountains. The original German settlers arrived there in the 12th and 13th centuries, but the region was traditionally part of Bohemia. In 1938 the Sudetenland was annexed by the German Third Reich (the Munich Conference), but it was restored to Czechoslovakia in 1945. Most of its German-speaking population of 3 million was then transferred to Germany. So the Dresslers remaining in the area of Sádek were forced to return to Germany with the result that we could not locate them there.

Of course, Johann Dressler, the grandfather of our own Louis Dressler, immigrated from the Sádek region to Holesov, as will be discussed later. It is strange, then, that we could not find the descendants of Johann in Holesov but the only remaining Dresslers in that town were granddaughters of Johann and had assumed the family names of their husbands. There were sons and grandsons of Josef but it is not clear to us at this time whether they remained in the Holesov area or moved to adjoining towns. In fact, one of the granddaughters maintains her home in Hranice, some distance from Holesov.

In September 1996 we visited House Number 9 in Sadek with Dr. Baletka and met the Pavelka family who had bought the house from one of the Dressler descendants who had been forced to emigrate to Germany in keeping with the forced relocation of German descendants from the former Sudeten lands.

Mr. Pavelka had many records that had been assembled by one of the Tschirmers. I believe it was Alois Tschirmer who had married Aloisia Dressler, the daughter of Josef Dressler (b 1805) and his wife, Apolonia Sahliger.


These records were compiled from church records and show that the father of Anton Dressler (b 1730) (who married Zuzana Thomas) was Kaspar Dresler (b 1654) of Kosetice. He married, first, Zuzana ? and they had four children: Matheus, Elisabeta, Mariana and Josef. He later married Magdalena ? (b 1699) and they had at least one son—Anton (b 1730).

They also indicate that the father of Kaspar was Martin Dresler of Kosetice (b ca 1630).

From this information we can now compile a reliable record of the Dressler family—at least, of our direct antecedents.

First Generation

Martin Dresler - may have immigrated to Moravia from Germany but it is likely that he was one or more generations away from the initial Dressler to arrive in Moravia. He was born about 1630 and probably was born in Kosetice (Koschendorf). Kosetice is the Czech spelling and Kirschendorf is the German spelling. Kosetice is near Sádek (Zattig) which, at the time of the early Dresslers was under the judicial region of Bruntal. It is now under the judicial region of Opava. Both Kosetice and Sádek are near the larger town of Velké Heraltice and are now considered a part of it. Although we do not know the name of his father, records in Sádek indicate his mother was of the Eschig family of Malé Heraltice, located just west of Velké Heraltice and north of Kosetice.

Second Generation

Kaspar Dresler - (b 1654 - d 11 Apr 1747 in house #10 in Kosetice). He married, first Zuzana ? and, second, Magdalena Bokesh (b 1690 or 98 - d 1784). Of the first marriage, there were four children: Matheus, Elisabeta, Mariana and Josef. Of the second marriage,we only have a record of one child: Anton, the direct ancestor of our line.

Third Generation

Anton Dressler - born in Kosetice (house #10) 1 April 1730 - died in Kosetice in 1798. He married Zuzana Thomas on 22 December 1756 in Velké Heraltice. She had been born 20 Jul 1738 in Kosetice and died in 1787. Anton was a farmer of Kosetice (Kirschendorf). They had six children: Josef, Florian, Jan Petrus, Ignatius, Ann Terezia, and Frantisek. Of these children, Marty’s direct ancestor was Josef.

Fourth Generation

Josef Dressler - born 3 April 1767 in Kosetice in House #10, died 15 May 1842 in Sádek House No. 9 - married 21 Nov 1791 by Priest Johan Metzner to Johana Heinzova (born 1767 or 1768 in Sádek, died 13 Jun 1827 in Sádek House No. 9). Records indicate that he was “Rolnik” (large farmer).
Their children, all born in House No. 9, Sádek:

Theresia, Eleonora, Maria-Klara, Josef, Eleonora, Johann, Marty’s direct ancestor.

Fifth Generation - Johann Dressler - our direct ancestor

Johann Dressler, son of Josef Dressler and Johanna Heinzova, born 13 Feb 1812 - d 1880 - Godparents Ignatz Gebauer (a farmer) and Klara Schortz - midwife Elisabeth Blaschke - baptized by Kooperator Karl Fischer. He married Mariana (or Marie) of the family ”Kodrich” (b 1820) of Velké Heraltice. Her father was Frantisek Kodrich and his wife (Mariana’s mother) was Johanna of the family “Svarcova”, also of Velké Heraltice. Johann and Marie apparently moved to Holesov between 1844 and 1846 where Johann was indicated, first, as being a supervisor of farm labor on a large farm but, later, was a private policeman in the service of the owner of the Dominion.
Their children:

Josef, Johann, Eduard, Either our information about the death of Eduard in 1852 (or 1859) is incorrect and he lived to adulthood or there was another Eduard born after 1859 and named after the younger Eduard in the fashion of that country. Leopold indicates there was a relative named Edward, remaining in Holesov after his emigration and we have proof in the form of letters from Eduard and his wife to Leopold in the early 1900s. This Eduard married a lady named Theresie and the cousins Anna and Joska say that they had no children. After Johann’s death in their home in Holesov, they later moved to and died in Kromeriz.

And Leopold, Marty’s grandfather.

Sixth Generation - Leopold Dressler - our direct ancestor

Leopold Dressler, born 22 Nov 1856 in Holesov - christened 23 Nov 1856, midwife Barbara Davidik - died in San Antonio, TX 5 January 1927 - married Marianna Mikieska in Novy Jicin on 16 Nov 1885 - her father was Ignac Mikieska or Mikeska and her mother was Johanna Mayoch. Johanna’s father was Frantisek Mayoch of Trojanovice (near Frenstat). Mariana was born 2 December 1859. - Leopold emigrated to America in Mar 1912
Their children:

Frank, Leopold Karl, Maria Magdalena (twin to Leopold Karl), Jan, Alois (Louis), Anna, Alzbeta. Louis was Marty’s father.



We had thought that Marie (or Marianna) Mikeska, who married Leopold Dressler, was the daughter of Ignatz and Johana Mikeska, but from information supplied by Hana Juracková (the sister of Drahomir Strnadel of Trojanovice and a genealogical researcher), it appears that she was their granddaughter—not their daughter.

According to Hana, Marianna was the daughter of Anna Mikeskin who was born in Trojanovice 20 October 1820. Anna’s father was Ignatz Mikeska, 24 years old at marriage, a farmer, house No. 204, Trojanovice and her mother was Johana, also 24 years old, daughter of Franz Mazoch, farmer from Trojanovice.

We had thought Marianna (Marie) was the daughter of Ignatz and Johana from looking at the birth records of her children by Leopold but, when I looked at the records again, they do indicate that Marianna was the daughter of Anna (or Anny) who was the daughter of Ignatz Mikeska and Johana, daughter of Franz Mazoch.

The Wedding Records of Trojanovice (P-IV 33)) show that Ignatz Mikeska married Johana, daughter of Franz Mazoch, a farmer from Trojanovice on February 13, 1816. Ignatz was 24 years old at the time of the marriage and his father, Johan Mikeska was a farmer living in house number 204, in Trojanovice. Johana was also 24 years old at the time of the marriage. Witnesses to the wedding were Andreas Fojtík and Josef Chalupa.

Ignatz was born 23 July 1792 - P-IV-28-5. His father was Johan Mikeska and his mother was Anna, daughter of Johan Kubis. His godfather was Franz Chrapek. Ignatz died in 1838.

The mother of Ignatz was Johana, daughter of Franz Mazoch. She was born 23 September 1791 and died in 1847.

Of this marriage (Ignatz Mikeska and Johan Mazoch) there were six children:

Barbara, born 29 November 1819 - recorded P-IV -18/347
Anna, born 20 October 1820 (mother of Marianna) - recorded P-IV-28/355
Marianna, born 25 March 1823 (an aunt of our Marianna) - recorded P-IV-28/377
Josef, born 11 December 1824 - recorded P-IV-28/396
Philip, born 24 April 1826 - recorded P-IV-28/411
Franz, born 30 September 1827 - recorded P-IV-28/427
Each were christened in the church at Frenstát.

Although we now know that Anna Mikeskin was the mother of Marianna (Marie), Hana says that her father is unknown, although she says that Marianna was a legitimate child. Marianna was born 2 December 1859 in house number 204, Trojanovice.



Marty had kept several old family letters that we found in the effects of her father and mother after their death. Most of the letters were from Moravia to Leopold but there were others from the Zbranek and Valicek families to Marty’s maternal grandmother.

When we had these letters translated in 1997, a mystery soon presented itself. Two of the letters from two ladies in Frenstát to Leopold made reference to “your wife who remains in Frenstát” although the main subject of the letters was about other matters. Since we had never heard that Leopold had married after the death of Marianna, we were mystified. Marty’s dad never mentioned it to our recollection. Likewise, J. C. did not remember that his father had ever discussed the matter.

During our visit to Frenstát in 1999, we asked Drahomir Strnadel, the mayor of Trojanovice, to ask his wife (who did family research for Americans from time to time) to try to solve this mystery for us.

Eva Strnadlová found the following in the marriage registry of Frenstát 1894 - 1904, book IV, page 163:

Married in Frenstát on September 10, 1904 by Father Alois Nakládal:

Groom: Leopold Drösler, shoemaker in Frenstát House #729, widower, Catholic, 38 years old (he was actually 48 years old), son of Jan Drösler, grieve in Holesov and his wife, Marie, daughter of Frantisek Ködrich, gardener from Velké Heraltice. Born November 22, 1865 (but we know he was born in 1856).

Bride: Frantiska, widow after Jan Slovák, weaver in Frenstát (he died September 6, 1892), daughter of Valentin Zrubek, weaver in Frenstát, and his wife Veronika, daughter of Thomás Vasut, weaver from Frenstát. She was born September 25, 1859, Catholic, 44 years old.

Witnesses: Josef Haim, innkeeper from Frenstát and Josef Zrubek, weaver from Frenstát

They had their banns called on August 28, September 4 and 8, 1904.

Eva says that a search of the Frenstát and Trojanovice registry from 1904 - 1912 showed that Leopold and Frantiska did not have any children. Given the ages of the bride, this is not surprising, of course.

From other records we have seen, if a man emigrated from Czechoslovakia without his wife, she had to give written permission or he could not leave the country. What we don’t know, of course, is whether Leopold was expected to send for her after he settled in America and/or whether she still declined to leave Moravia.


Links to the Family Pages

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Bransford Family History
Shirley Family History
Valicek Family History
Bransford Family Photos
Dressler Family Photos
Shirley Family Photos
Valicek Family Photos