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History of the VILIMEK´s FAMILY

by Ivan Vilimek,  Jan. 1st, 1990


The oldest occurrence of the family name Vilimek in Bohemia is in A. D. 1495, when administrator of the Czech brethrens´ religious community and  writerJan Táborský, "whose original name was Jan Vilimek" died in the east Bohemian town of Litomyšl.

Some 140 years later there is again a mention of the family  name Vilimek in Eastern Bohemia. The record in the first Baptismal register book of the parish of Rychnov nad Kněžnou states that Anna, a daughter of Václav and Ludmila Vilimek from the village of Lukavice, 5 km NE of Rychnov, was baptised on the 10.6.1632. Another record in the same book informs that Adam and Eva, the twins of Václav Vilimek in Rychnov were baptised on Dec.21. 1642. The Godparents   were the Rychnov´s miller´s wife and miller´s journeyman. Unfortunately any chain, any connection of those Vilimeks with our ancestors can not be proven.

Our family originates at Synkov, a small village of some 200 inhabitants, on the road from Rychnov to Castolovice, to whose parish the village of Synkov  belonged. In A. D. 1638 a man named Jan Schovanec and his wife Rebeka from the neighbouring village of Slemeno baptised their son Václav. The Godparents were Jirik Pekar and Dorota Vilimek, both from Synkov. Who was this Dorota Vilimek and what was her relation to bellow stated Matouš Vilimek, our first known direct ancestor, we do not know at all.


Matous [Matthew] Vilimek (*about 1610, + ante 19.7.1640).Only two records concerning this Matous, our first known ancestor, are kept until today in the first Marriage Register of the parish of Castolovice. The first record says, that  Jirík Pribyl married Anna (*cca 1611, + between 1667-1684), a widow after the late Matthaus (Matouš) WYLYMEK from Synkov on 19.7.1640, and, according to the second record, Kateřina [Catherine], a daughter of the late Matouš Wylymek, married Lukas Pluhar, both from Synkov, on 16.1.1661.

According to the Land Registers of Synkov, under the House Numbers #6 and #13, and as per to the so called "Soupis poddanych dle viry " [ List of the Subject people according to their Religion] from April 1651, Matous Vilimek and his wife Anna had 5 children who lived to grow up: Jakub [Jacob] *about 1631, Jan [John] *about 1634, Dorota [Dorothy] * about 1637, Jirik [George] *about 1639, Katerina [Catherine] * about 1640, possibly as a posthumous.

Matous himself probably farmed in the house No. 6 (today No. 11), that was later kept by his widow Anna and her second spouse Jiřík Pribyl. Anna became a widow again and in 1667she passed the farm over to the youngest son Jirik.


The other son Jakub [James] Vilimek owned the house No. 13 (today No. 35). He was born, as mentioned above, in about A. D. 1631, and he was the oldest child of Matous and Anna. On 7.9.1650 he married  "Katerina, a daughter after late Elyas Wolf from Castolovice". In those days he became the owner of  the house #13 at Synkov. But there is a discrepancy  in the "Soupis poddanych dle viry ", where his wife is cited as Magdalena in 1651. We can only assume, that the name of his bride was incorrectly written as Katerina and not Magdalena in the record of the mentioned marriage register, because later his wife is ever named as Magdalena.

Jakub and Magdalena had at least nine children, two of whom probably died early - Magdalena (*1655) and Frydrich (*1661).

The remaining seven Jakob´s sons are listed as follows: Jan (*1652), Vaclav (*1653), Matej (*1656), Jirik (*1659), Elyas [Eliash](*1661 - Gemini with Frydrich who died), Valentin (*1664) and Tomas [Thomas] (*1666). The records of their baptism are in the first Castolovice´s register. The oldest Jan took father´s farm over, Vaclav became birdman and custodian of the chateau´s forest enclosure at Castolovice. Matej became shortly a farmer in a 10 km distant village of Licno and later an innkeeper at Ledska. Jirik was a cottager at Licno for all his life. Elyas was drafted to the imperial army and he probably never came home again. Valentin was ordered by the land-lords to move to a 250 km removed dominion of Lnare in Southern Bohemia and the youngest Tomas lived at Castolovice, Synkov and Olesnice.



Jakub Vilimek had a farmstead of 32 Strichs of fields, kept 3 horses, 4 cows, 3 heifers, 8 sheep and 4 sows. The total worth of this farm was that time 300 three-scores (i.e. 60) of Meissen´s Groschen, i.e. 350 guldens. Jakub died probably in 1670.


Jirik [George] Vilimek (*1659, + 1729) was the 4th son of Jakub. In 1681 he married Dorota, daughter of the late Matej Kopek of Licno. Therefore they moved from Synkov to Licno in 1685 and they settled down in the father´s-in-law house (later # 21). This was a very tiny farm, if we take into consideration that it´s worth was 25 three-scores of groshes, i. e. 12 times less than the native Jirik´s house at Synkov. Jirik and Dorota had 4 children, who grew up. Probably the oldest were daughters Magdalena, followed by  Katerina (*cca 1690, + ante 1762) who married Josef Dolezal from Koldin in 1709. They both held the father´s cottage for a certain period and in 1711 they passed it to Jirik´s son Jan (*cca 1693, + 1758 at Licno) This Jan married Anna, daughter of Mikulas Vobornik from a   nearby town of Tyniste nad Orlici and all his life he lived in the native cottage at Licno. The youngest child of Jirik was Vaclav (*1703, + 1757), a miller of Castolovice. Mother Dorota died and Jirik married Katerina Berounsky in 1718. Jirík died at Licno in 1729.


The representative of the next generation was Vaclav Vilimek (* cca 1703 at Licno, + 1757 at Castolovice). As mentioned above, he was the  Castolovice´s miller. The mill (original #44, a new #2) stood opposite to the lord´s chateau until 1970s. A purchase contract  was signed between "the high-born Sir Frank Fillip, count of the Holy Roman Empire, count of Sternberg, landlord of the dominions of Zasmuky, Castolovice, Nechanice and Chocemnice as well, councillor of the  Chamber of the Roman emperor´s Majesty and the associate judge of the Great Country Court in the Kingdom of Bohemia, as a seller of the mill on one side, and  Václav Wylymek as a buyer on the other side." This purchase contract is recorded in German language in the Land Register of Castolovice and the further text informs us that Vaclav in the time of the purchase was already married with Katerina and the purchase price of the mill was 700 guldens.  His spouse Kateřina was a daughter of Matej Swida, a servant in the palais, but she deceased in 1742 being 33 years old and Václav married that year Marie Magdalena Bauer - Vantiniana. Katerina gave birth to at least three children: Vaclav Karel [Charles] (*1731), Jan Karel (*1735), Dorothea - Barbora (*1740).  From the second marriage there were Karel Jan (*1744), Frantisek [Frank] Jan(*1747), Josef Jan(*1749) and Jan Nepomucky [Nepomucensis] (*1752). The heir of the mill became the youngest Jan Nepomucky.


Jan Nepomucky Vilimek (*1752 at Castolovice, + 1802) was all his life a miller at Castolovice. In 1771, he married Tereza [Theresia] , a daughter of Karel Kopecky,a miller from Brandys nad Orlici. They had 11 children, all of them grew up and established families. One of the sons, Josef Dominik (*1778) became miller in Vamberk and his son, Josef Richard Vilimek (*1835 in Vamberk) was the founder of one of the most famous and leading publishing houses in Prague, the Nakladatelstvi Josef R. Vilimek. At least two more sons of Jan Nepomucky became millers as well. They were Frantisek Karel (*1780) and Dominik (*1774). Jan Nepomucky Vilimek and his wife Tereza both died in 1802 and the mill at Castolovice was sold according to the testament.

Frantisek [Frank] Karel Vilimek, strom.gif (169 bytes)was born   at Castolovice A.D. 1780. In 1808 he  married at Vysoke Myto Marie Magdalena, a daughter of the town´s forester and neighbor Vaclav Harnach.kmen.gif (176 bytes) strom.gif (169 bytes) He hailed from an old German noble family von Harnach, archiv.gif (1045 bytes)that came to Bohemia during the Thirty-Years-War from Wolmar in Livonia. The family became poor in several generations and its members were in service mainly with the rich counts of Sinzendorf, as their foresters. Frantisek was   flour-retailer , and in 1815 he bought a so called Vapenka mill (-The mill has got its name, Vapenka (Lime -), according to the  limestone sediments and springs in the hillside above the mill. ) near the village of Lestina (House # 44) on the Nove Hrady estate and he stayed there until his death in 1840. His wife died already in 1839, of TBC, same as her husband.

Their only son Dominik Ignac Vilimek strom.gif (169 bytes)(*1814) inherited the mill of Lestina. He married in 1839 Anna, a daughter of Martin Suricek, a retailer with groats at Nove Hrady and later a miller at Roudna. The mill gear broke Dominik his hand off and he started to drink.  A journeyman Vincenc Kysilka strom.gif (169 bytes) start_small.jpg (3045 bytes)of a millers´family from a nearby Vranice, worked in the Vilimek mill for three years and he felt in love in the oldest Vilimek´s daughter Marie (Marianna) (*1840). The parents prevented them from their love because Kysilka was a protestant whereas  the Vilimeks were catholics, he was poor whereas they were a rather rich family. Only when Vincenc converted to the catholic belief, their marriage was blessed.

The second daughter was Vilemina [Wilhelmine] (*1841), who married František Ourecký. Of their 7 childrens four emigrated to the USA. The widow after the last Ourecky, Irma Ourecky, has been a custodian of the Czech Heritage Museum in Wilber, ND.

The third child was Leopold (I.) (*1843) who took over  the Vapenka mill (see bellow)

The fourth was František (*1846) , later a miller at Budislav and Porici He went bancrupt, became poor and died in poverty in about 1910. His son František (*about 1884) emigrated after his father´s death to America, wherehe opened a bakery  in a Chicago´s suburb .   Also his sister Marie emigrated to the USA, where she later  married a Swoboda.

The fifth was Antonin (*1848) who was store keeper and baker at Prosec.

Dominik Vilimek died of TBC in 1854.



Leopold (I.) Maxmilian Josef Vilimek, born 1843 at Lestina #44. He took over his father´s mill. In 1869 he married Frantiska (Frances) Jelinek from Luze and they had a son named Leopold (II.) (*1873). Leopold (I.) died in 1878 and the widow Frantiska married Vaclav Drahos, with whom she had three other children, Anna, Vaclav and Marie Drahos.

Leopold (II.) Vilimek, born in 1873 at Lestina #44 was miller as his father. He died very early (in 1903) and left three small children: Jaroslav (*1896), Leopold (III.) (*1899) and Anna (*1903). His widow Katerina, born Kudrna, married Antonin Sobotka who kept over the mill. Sobotka became widower and with his second wife he had a son named Antonin as well, whom he dedicated the Vápenecký mill. Thus the mill after more than 100 years changed the owner´s family. Small Vilimek´s orphans were deprived of their property and all of them went off the region. Jaroslav Vilimek (*1896), though a miller (last miller in the kin), worked in Brno in a machinary company. His brother Leopold (III. -*1899) settled down in Brno as well and became gardener.


This branch is today unknown. The son of Frantisek was Frank (*1884) as well and he settled (probably) in Berwyn, Ill after his emigration to America in about 1911 ., He is said to have been baker there. There was also a daughter Marie (married Swoboda) who emigrated to the USA as well. Their descendents should live in Chicago´s area probably.


Antonin Frantisek Josef Vilimek (*1848 at Leština 44) was apprenticed to a miller, but all his life he was flour and grain dealer in a small township of Prosec. With his spouse Marie Jiracek they had alltogether nine children, three of which died early after their birth. Antonín (Jr.), born in 1878,  drowned during bathing in a pond at the age of 10 . The daughter Antonie (*1876, + 1943) became a nun. The other daughters were Julie (1883 - 1932, married Novak) and Marie (1890 - 1950, stayed single). The eighth child was a son, named Viktor (* 1889 at Prosec). He became a skilled baker. He took part in the WW I. As a soldier of the Austrian army he was captured by the Russians. In Russia he entered (not the Czechoslovak) but serbian Legions. In 1918 he got to France, where he entered The Czechoslovak Legion and on the side of the Alies he managed to fight against the Germans. He was wounded (Ypperite) there. After having been recovered he married Katerina Koutna of Proseč. The family went to the eastern part of Czechoslovakia first (to Myjava and Smolenice) where Viktor kept a small bakery and a store. Though they had quite a good living, in 1935 they moved to Yugoslavia to the towns of Daruvar and later to Tuzla. After WWII the family returned back to Czechoslovakia. Viktor died in 1970.

Maxmilián Vilimek (*1892 at Proseč) was the last child of Antonin and Marie Vilimek. After finishing the secondary school he studied the forestry at the "K.u.k. Hochschule für Bodenkultur" in Vienna ( Imperial and Royal Academy for the Land Use). In 1915 he had to draft  the Austrian army as a Lieutenant, he was driven very soon to the eastern front and escaped into Russian capture. There he, as his brother Viktor, entered the Serbian Volunteer Corps in Russia (The Czechoslovak legion at that time was not formed yet). In 1916 on the Rumanian front we was very seriusly injured. For his activity he was honourd by the high Russian Order of St. Anne and by the Serbian War Cross. He came back to Europe with the Czech Legion after the glorious Siberian anabasis  and served on the Balkanian front. After the war he entered the diplomatic service and he was employed in the Czechoslovak Embassy in Beograd. After two years, when he married Marie Sedlacek. M.D., he stopped working in the Embassy and entered again the Military - he became an officer of the new Czechoslovak Army.

He had to retire when the Nazis occupied the country in 1939. After the liberation of the country in 1945 he entered again the service but was kicked-off the Army again, when the Communists seized the power in 1948.  Maxmilián Vilimek died in 1967 in Brno.

His son Ivan Vilimek (*1934 in Brno) studied at the Faculty of Nature Sciences of the Masaryk University in Brno. He was employed with the Technical University in Brno, until 1996, when he retired. Ivan is an enthusiastic genealogist and is the author of this Vilimek´s history.  Ivan´s address is Antonínská 6, 600 00 Brno. His sister Vera (*1925) married Josef Chloupek. In 1948, they emigrated to Venezuela, from 1961 the family lives in Austria. The other sister Tatiana (1921 - 1978) was married a Sedlacek.

(Ivan Vilimek, Brno)