Janda Family


Notes from the files of Joseph A. Kenny

New as of December 2005, you can search various Janda Census records here.

How is Joe Kenny related?

Here's what I know about the Janda family, starting as far back as I know.

*    This first section is from an article that I wrote about Cyril Janda. Cyril lived in a small town in Moravia, in the village of Plesice, (then the Austrian-Hungarian Empire), now the Czech Republic. His family had little money and were common villagers. Cyril had eleven brothers and two sisters, with his oldest sibling being 17 years older than himself. Times were rough in his country around the 1870's. The king of this Empire persecuted Christians and recently had called for a mandatory military service that the Czech's were required to do for the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, that went from a 2 year tour of duty, to a 12 year tour of duty.
*    Now there were several American companies that advertised in Moravia and other areas, with the purpose of transporting Czech's to the US. Also US train companies were looking for laborers to continue the train tracks and productions. The word at that time was that land was cheap, or even free for the taking.
*    Cyril's eldest brother Tomas, decided to come to America and see if things were truly as people had said they were. After one years time, in 1879, the rest of the Janda family had made the decision to leave Moravia. Cyril, at the age of 19 and his new bride of less than two months, being good Christians with hearts of gold, knew of three orphan children in their small village, Jon, Josef and Marie Chyba and brought them with them.

I was corrected here and will need to look through my records, but apparently, Jon and Joseph did not arrive with the Jandas, but came separately.   Please read the following that Edwin Hiber sent me:  

Ed Hiber writes:  "Marie did not arrive with John and Josef Chyba (Hiber)

As shown by Steamship Passenger Ship entries furnished to me by Joe Noble and secured from Des Moines, Iowa Genealogy records on Czech immigrants:

John (Hiber) Chyba age 18 and his brother Josef (Hiber) Chyba age 16 i.e. the Joseph T. (Jasper) (Hiber) Chyba ....... arrived in New York on the steamship "Main" on July 7, 1877. Also as shown by such Lists their sister, Marie (Maria) (Hiber )Chyba ........ arrived in New York as a young teenager on July 25, 1879 on the steamship "Oder" and .... Emalie (Emma) Toman, who became the wife of John (Hiber) Chyba ...... arrived in New York as a child ,with other members of her family, on July 3, 1877 on the steamship Pommerania"

*    They sold most of their belongings and packed the rest of their things in large wooden chests and made their way by horse and wagon to the nearest train station that would take them to Bremen, Germany. It is there that they boarded the steamship "Oder", which would take 14 days crossing the Atlantic, with a destination for Ellis Island, New York. They embarked on US soil on the 25 July, 1879. The fare's for the journey was approximately $68.00 in US currency for adults, about half that for children and free for very little ones. On board the Steamer, 'Oder' were the following: Frantisek Novacek and his wife Petronila Janda, which was Cyrill's sister, with their child Mary, and Cyrill's brothers Frantisek (Frank), Anton and his wife Marie Prepejchal with five children, Catherine, James, Anton Jr., Julia, and 2 month old Hermina. Cyrill's father, Tomas, and his second wife Katerina Otoupal with children Josef , Karolina, Jacub, Jan, and Marie, the last three being hers. Cyril, age 19, and his brand new wife of less than 2 months, Pauline Martinek, age 21, was also aboard. Cyril had brought three orphans with him. They were John, Josef, and Marie Chyba, which was pronounced similar to (Heba), so therefore later changed their name to Hiber. Marie Chyba was 13 years old at their time of travel. Marie Chyba ended up being my Great Grandmother, marrying Anton Toman, who was also mentioned above as the vice-president in the church committee.

*    When the Jandas, (all being musicians), got off the boat in New York, they loaded into a wagon and instantly broke out their instruments that they brought with them, and played songs of their homeland. Anton Janda with his Bass Horn, Cyril Janda with his Clarinet, Frank Janda with his Slide Trombone and Tomas Sr. played the accordion. They ended up joining Cyril's brother Tomas that had been working with the Railroad in Plattsmouth, NE. They had joined other Czech immigrants from Moravia on the west end of Plattsmouth, Nebraska known as "Bohemian Town." It had two store's and it's own little school which still is standing today. The language in Bohemian Town was spoken in Czech only.
*    The Jandas formed a band in 1885 called "The Plattsmouth City Band", which was well known throughout entire Midwest and played social functions, dance's and even at the Democratic Convention, in Kansas City. They would march behind the horse-drawn wagons of every Czech funeral, rain or shine.
*    The Czech's saw the need of having their own church, in their own tongue, that's when Cyril Janda formed a committee with himself as president, his brother Tomas, as treasure, a fellow named Anton Toman as vice-president. They raised the necessary money and purchase three lots from a Jon Svoboda, in the Dukes addition and built their church in 1890 for $2400, and named it "The Holy Rosary Catholic Church" They now had a church in which the services were in their own language. The Church still stands today at 1610 First Avenue, but is no longer operating as a church, and is totally gutted. There are some spectacular stained-glass windows, each one having a member of the church committee member placed on it. The church's last mass was offered on 6 Sept. 1973. The closing was a result of the lack of priests in the Lincoln diocese. Cyril was the organist for 40 years after-which his niece became the organist and served the next 40 years.
*    Cyril helped his fellow man when he could. He sharpened peoples scissors and supplied milk for his neighbors from his cows.

   Cyril Janda was the first organist and as mentioned, continued to be organist for 40 years. The following tribute was paid to Cyril for all his efforts with the church by Father Matej Bor, in the late 1890's:
    "As long as our church has been standing, you have played the organ; Even though after work you are so worried, your willingness is without limits. You never ask for rewards for your tasks, your souls generosity was fully satisfied that our faith would conquer.
    Always God's work you tried to improve, even though many times you got no thanks for your efforts, but you never cared, you toiled on.
    The chorus of the church singers you trained with your example of diligence, Church music with your labors you preserved. Today with your labors we recall. Today in your ring of friends and relatives we see, yet all are heartfully wishing you; that for many years you would play yet in our church. May God reward your work with luck, bliss and let you reach Heaven."
    My great grandparent, Cyril always carried a rosary with him. He and his wife, Pauline would walk the 6-8 blocks up hill to church everyday for mass and pray the rosary on the way.
     The Jandas mostly worked for the Railroad, on the east end of town. Cyril worked as a carpenter then later a foreman, and worked on the train cars. My Grandparents were Charles Clement Janda, 6 Nov. 1886--20 Jan. 1950 and Marie Cathryn Toman, 14 Dec. 1885--13 June 1956.
    Charles parents were Cyril Janda, 2 Feb. 1860--6 Apr. 1942 and Pauline Martinek, 5 Jun. 1858-- 20 May 1944.
    Cyrill's parents were Tomas Janda, 9 July 1824-- 7 Feb. 1901 and Marianna Sedlacek, 1822--28 Feb. 1865. At this time I should note Tomas' other wives: Marianna Sedlacek 1822--28 Feb. 1865 and Mrs. Mary Blazek, 1833--1916. Before continuing, there is an interesting note on this last wedding. Tomas' son, Jan, married Miss Mary Blazek who was Mrs. Mary Blazek's daughter on the same day that Tomas married her mother. The marriage date was 26 April 1884.
    Tomas' parents were Tomas Janda , About1797, and Elnora Prokes, about 1798. Cyril left behind one sister. She was the oldest in the family. Her name was Frantiska, 23 May 1843--13 Mar. 1918. She and her husband Petr Canek, decided to stay in their homeland. Some relatives from this family that are living there today are:  

Vladimir Canek in Plesice, Moravia and Vitezslav Canek in Kazichovice, Moravia.


Some of this material was inspired or from text written by Marie Hammons Toman in the "History of Cass County" book  Other text was from various Plattsmouth newspapers provided to me by Joe Kvapil.