The Game Ancestry - Johann Zwierzina, Master brewer
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The Game Ancestry - Second Edition - Part 1 - Chapter 2
© Felix G. Game

Johann Zwierzina, Master brewer

Johann Zwierzina
1741 - 10 Jan 1806
My Paternal Great-Great-Great-grandfather
Parents unknown

Data Summary:

Computed: 1741 Place unknown
Parents  Unknown Zwierzina, Unknown Mother Place unknown
Occupation Municipal Master brewer, Uherské Hradišté Czech Republic
Spouse  Josefa Abraham (Lazar) b. about 1753 Place unknown
Children    1. Josefa - b. about 1770 m. Josef Appel
    2.Magdalena - b.5 Feb 1778, Hradišté m. Eder
    3.Thekla - b. 4 Sep 1779, Bílovice  
    4.Rosalie - b. about 1780 m. Martin Pinkovsky
    5.Anna - b. 4 May 1781, Bílovice. d. May 1808
    6. Theresie - b. bef. 1782. m. Ignatz Cernocký
    7.Johannes - b. 9 Jun 1783, Hradisch d. 25 Jun 1783
    8.Franz de Paula - b. 26 Mar 1785, Hrad.  
    9. Joseph Cyril (or - b. 6 Mar 1787, Hradisch  
  10.Alois Johann - b. 20 Jun 1789, Hradisch m. Philipp
G-grandfather 11. Johann - b. 16 Apr 1792, Hradisch m. Biedermann
  12.Appolonia Jenovefa - b. 5 Jan 1794 d. 2 Nov 1794
Date of Death 

10 Jan 1806 at Uherské Hradišté

age 65

Hradisch = Ungarisch Hradisch = Uherské Hradišté


The year when great-great-grandfather Johann Zwierzina was born had been calculated to be 1741 because in the year of his death (1806) his age was 65. Although he lived and died in Uherské Hradišté, no record of his birth could be found there. As a matter of fact, the archive staff found no trace of any Zwierzina family in that town before1763. After additional information named a few small places in the Hradisch vicinity, a long list of parish records were examined by Dr. Jirí Coupek of the Hradišté branch of the Czech national archives but no birth records were found for either Johann Zwierzina or Josepha Abraham. He did however find the births of daughters Magdalena, Thecla, and Anna, and the unrelated marriage in 1781(which had earlier been found by the Brno archives) of a brewer Johann Zverzina [sic] to Elisabeth Krause from Veselí, then the birth in 1782 of that unrelated couple's child Mariana in Veselí nad Moravou. Dr. Coupek says that he had also checked the following parishes: Bílovice (including Brezolupy, Javorovec, Knézpole, Mistrice, Nedachlebice, Svárov, Topolná, Vcelary, Zlámanec), Kunovice (including Jarošov, Maratice, Míkovice, Podoli, Popovice, Sadi,Vésky), Veselí nad Moravou (including Veselské, Zarazice), Uherské Hradišté (including Hušténovice, Kostelany, Staré Mésto).fggdoc248-1
He commented that there were many "Abraham" in Jarosov, but did not speculate on why Josefa once shows up as "Lazarová". Other yet unexplored leads would include the mention in the Brewer's will of a debt to the brewer of Zazow or Czwerusow (which is correct?). Any of these leads could help to find out where Johann Zwierzina, the brewer was born, or had previously lived. Parish records and or cemetery records should be examined as the opportunity arises. Also deserving of further investigation would be a cemetery of Uherské Hradišté. Any chance they still exist? A word that turned up and is not understood, was Holupkin or Holaupkin. Was this the name of a street, or what does it  mean?

Historical Events of the Period

War for the Austrian Succession
1742 Frederick the Great defeated Austria on the battlefield of Chotusitz near Caslau.
1757 The Austrian Marshall Daun, and Prince Nicolaus Eszterházy defeat Frederick the Great in the Battle of Kolin.

These two battlefields were along the route one would take if traveling by stage coach from Vienna to Prague; in 1791, when Mozart took the trip, it required three days, passing 21 post stations, and traveling 150 miles in a coach pulled by four horses.


The daughter Josefa, Johann Zwierzina's first child by Josefa Abraham is believed to have been born in this year.

After what seems like an incredibly long pause of seven years, their second child Magdalena was born on 5 February. Such long periods of infertility always make me nervous, wondering just what records or events have I missed in my research.
1779 Daughter Thekla was born 4 September.
1780 Daughter Rosalia (elsewhere "Rosalia") is believed to have been born in this year.
1781 Daughter Anna was born on 4 May.
1782 Daughter Theresia (elsewhere "Theresie") is believed to have been born in this year.

Moravian towns underwent thorough germanization from the 13th century. Under Habsburg rule nearly the entire upper and middle classes were German. Cities such as Brno, predominantly German-speaking, were surrounded by a countryside of Czech-speaking people. After 1849 Moravia became an Austrian crownland.

Although no documents have been found yet to pin down Johann's place of birth, there is every indication that he is from the southern part of Moravia (today part of the Czech Republic), and that he did not wander too far afield. From the birth record of his children it is almost certain that he lived in Bilowitz (now Bílovice) between 1778 and 1782. We do not know where the first daughter Josefa was born in 1770 which could have shed some light on his whereabouts.

Region where my GGG-grandfather Johann Zwierzina, Master brewer, my
G-grandfather Johann, Lieutenant and Tax Collector, and my grandfather Johann Nepomuk spent part of their lives

It is evident from the documents pertaining to his application for employment as town brewer by the municipality of Uherské Hradišté that he came from Bílovice.fggdoc244-1 Bílovice is a small village to the northeast, and not far from Uherské Hradišté. Dr.Coupek told me that it had been a small estate which came under the Diocese of Olomuc between 1718 and 1809, and that it was granted to Johann Baptist Bevier von Freirieden and his grandson Ignatz Kajetan Bevier, Captain of the district of Hradišté. In 1843 Bílovice still only had 116 houses and a population of 707. There was a castle, a dairy farm, a mill, and a church (St. Johann-Baptist). Bílovice had a brewery in the 18th century. There was also a brewery in the neighboring village of Brezoloupy until the 2nd half of the 19th century. The biggest brewery was in Jarošov which was established by the town of Uherské Hradišté in 1688, and which to this day produces beer.fggdoc248-2 He also told me that the name Abraham is not infrequent in Jarošov, so that Johann's wife Josefa Abraham could perhaps originate from there.

That Johann had six daughters in a row between 1770 and 1782, is very much in line with the abundance of daughters his grandson Johann Nepomuk had a century later. Probably a genetic predilection. It appears from all the data found that Johann Zwierzina and his family came to Bílovice before 1778 and that he was employed in the brewery there until 1782.

1782 At about this time Johann saw an opportunity to better himself, and applied for the position of town brewer in Hradisch (now Uherské Hradišté). According to the Town Council protocol recording the meeting of 15 November 1782, Johann Zwierzina, brewer from the nearby village of Bilowitz, had been examined on 10 Dec 1782 [sic], and after he had posted a bond of 400 Gulden, was hired into the town brewery.fggdoc244-Deutsch, fggdoc244-English.

Not that the examination went all that smoothly. He was required to produce a test batch of beer to show that he could produce good quality brew. In his effort to make a super-good batch he hid an extra bag of malt, was caught and accused of embezzlement. Johann explained himself truthfully, admitted having hidden an extra sack because he was making a big batch and wanted it to be good for the test. Although some thought that his beer was not all that wonderful, the Council voted with a majority of 10 in favor of employing him against a bond of 400 Gulden.

Perhaps there were local politics involved, or it was because of some earlier embarrassment suffered by the town fathers at the hands of a former brewer named Heÿl, some factions were all set to crucify him for that extra bag of malt. Perhaps they had their own horses running in the race. Be that as it may, a magistrate was given the job of sorting it all out. He pointed to the overwhelming majority in favor of hiring Zwierzina, added his own vote to theirs and ordered the town to hire Johann Zwierzina who was to post a bond of 400 Gulden for which the Citizens' Committee was to be responsible. He was, however, warned that if he showed any tendencies for incorrect behavior, or was found to be unable to brew good beer, he would be dismissed without the customary notice period of ¼ year.

Johann Zwierzina then reported that the Citizens' Committee had promised to hire him against a bond of 300 Gulden, and he indicated that it may be difficult for him to raise the extra 100 Gulden. Their reply was that other applicants had offered similar, and some even higher bonds, and that they needed to feel covered not only against the possibility of him behaving badly, and against accidental spoilage, but also against the potential of incurring beverage tax penalties. The council assured him that the bond was required, and that it would be invested to earn interest.fggdoc244

old brewery of Uherské Hradišté
Uherské Hradisté Nr.21, old "Citizens' brewery"
- Home to my GGG-grandfather in 1782

Despite these difficulties, Johann Zwierzina was hired and became the municipal master brewer of Uherské Hradišté, a position he held until his death 24 years later. The family moved into the old citizens' brewery building known as house number 21.fggdoc243-4 Dr. Coupek told me that this brewery goes back to the Middle Ages, and that it continued to brew beer until 1927. The building was finally torn down in 1978.

All indications are that Johann had made a good move. He had good employment, and his luck had turned in another, important aspect also: After a string of six daughters, he began to father a string of five sons.

1783 A son Johann (elsewhere "Johannes") was born 9 June, but only lived three weeks.
1785 Son Franz de Paula was born 26 March.
1787 Son Josef Zyryl (elsewhere "Cyryl") was born 6 March.
1789 Son Alois Johann was born 20 June.
1792 Son Johann - who would become my great-grandfather was born 16 April.
1794 Daughter Appolonia Jenovefa (elsewhere "Genovefa"), their last child, was born 5 January.

Uherské Hradisté 27 (now Nr.17)
The "Big Burgher House" purchased by my GGG-grandfather Johann Zwierzina in 1792.
On 1 August 1794 Johann signed an agreement of purchase and sale and bought the "Big Burgher House" pictured at right, which was then known as house number 27 (today it is number 17) from Antonie Kohn, widow of Karl Zabusch for 2,150 Rheinisch Gulden. He paid 1,250 Gulden down with a commitment to pay the remaining 900 Gulden within three years together with the customary interest for the period.fggdocs243-1/1., 245 So now he had bought a nice big house and could move his large family from the old brewery building into one of the nicer houses in town.

The amounts of money mentioned in this document are significant indicators of the class and social rank my great-great-grandfather occupied. With the large family he had acquired by 1794 (11 children) it is admirable that he had been able to come up with 1,250 Gulden in cash and securities. To put this in the context of the times, let us consider that his son Johann retired 33 years later as a Lieutenant with an annual pension of 200 Gulden. So if 200 Gulden in 1827 were enough for a family to live on, then six times that amount 33 years earlier, in 1794, must have been a substantial amount of money.

It is interesting to see that buying a house was not much different from the way it is today: first you agree on a price, then you agree on how it will be paid. The property was described as a "Big House" (Großhaus, or bürgerliches Großhaus) bearing the number 27, licensed to produce and sell beer, brandy and wine. Included with the house were the garden, orchard, lawn, storage buildings, and everything fastened to the house. The purchaser would be able to use the property from the day of the vendor's acceptance, and the purchaser would bear all current expenses. (fggdoc245)

According a description in a book about Uherské Hradište which was translated and provided to me courtesy Marek Blahus, a resident of that town in 2002, the house had a long and remarkable history:

House number 17 (formerly #27), a large burgher house, was originally a manorial house. In 1599 it was occupied by Jan Frystatsky. After that it was referred to as "the manorial house on the lower square across from the parish church and next to the municipal school", and it was owned by the imperial Colonel Markus Lubetik de Capellet at Orechove, who sold it to Zuzana Majetinska (née Doczi), lady at Vizovice, Hradek and Doloplazy, for 380 zl. m. Since then it was called the "House Vizovsky". Lady Majetinska gave it to the Jesuits for a seminary. These, according to the agreement with the town, sold it in 1690 to Jan Jiri Eder, tax collector of the Hradistsky region, for 350 zl. r. It remained in the Eder family and in 1735 it was transfered to the royal magistrate Frantisek Eder for the price of 1400 zl. r. In 1742 it was owned by Kacenka Ederova, who passed it to her brother-in-law Jan Hopp, municipal magistrate, for 1200 zl. r., in 1781 his widow passed the house "neben der Stadt Schulen" (beside the town's public school") to Karel Zabussch, whose widow held it in 1788 for 2000 zl. r. and for this price she sold it to the municipal brewer Johann Zverina [i.e. Zwierzina] whose widow sold it in 1808 to Johann Dvorak for 2100 zl. In 1810 it was held by the regional fourir (provisioner) Bartolomej Pospischil for 3100 zl., who in turn sold it in 1846 to Johann Schaffel and Marie Schaffelova. In 1842 the property was officially surveyed and valued 7403 zl. k.m. From 1848-1868 it belonged to Ign. Schmidt, whose family owned it until 1911.

My great-great-grandfather may have had a good idea buying this house, but it seems that he did not do his homework thoroughly enough. Surely he must have seen a terrific income potential from the rights that came with the property of selling alcoholic beverages. Yet on 5 December 1794 a supplemental clause was appended to the registry of the sale which reflects the town council's decision of 28 November 1794 that as long as Zwierzina remained in the employ of the town as Master brewer, he could not brew or buy beer for sale, and that he would have to sell the rights to someone else if and when his turn came up.

1800 August 26th Johann Zwierzina swore an oath of fidelity ("hat das juramentum fidelitatis abgelegt") and became a registered citizen of Uherské Hradišté.fggdoc243-1/2

Johann Zwierzina swore the Oath of Loyalty on 26 August 1800.

As it occasionally happens during research, some misinformation sneaks in and causes confusion. In this case, both the Brno archives and Dr.Coupek of the Hradišté archives came up with the marriage of Johann Zwierzina, brewer of Hradisch to a woman called Elizabeth Kraus of Veseli nad Moravou. "On 21 November 1781 Johann Zwierzina, Bräuer (brewer), residing at Uherské Hradišté house number 127, married Elisabeth Kraus, daughter of Anton Kraus of Veselí nad Moravou . The source cited by the Brno archive is the Trauungsbuch (Marriage Register) of the Roman Catholic parish of Uherské Hradišté.

Back when I knew only about the second half of the children, this marriage seemed theoretically possible. With the discovery of the other children by Josefa Abraham, establishing a longtime, uninterrupted marriage since about 1769, even a theoretical possibility evaporated, but I have decided to carry the information about Elisabeth Kraus as a warning to future researchers to be aware that there was evidently another Johann Zwierzina, also a brewer, who lived in the neighborhood at the same time.

I should mention here that Josefa's name was recorded as "Josepha née Lazarin" at the time of Alois Johann's birth in 1789.fggdoc185 This may have contributed to the difficulty in finding the marriage record, but what does the Lazar name indicate? It was the only time that geborene (née) was included in the recital of Josefa's name. Could it be that Lazar was the name she was born with, and that Abraham was a name she acquired subsequently for some reason? Lazarin is of course Lazar with the feminine suffix of "-in", a practice that was trendy in the 1700s.

Children of Johann Zwierzina and Josefa Abraham:

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Josefa Zwierzina
born circa 1770
Mrs. Joseph Appel
First child of Johann Zwierzina and Josefa Abraham

Josefa is mentioned in 1806 in her father's will as the 36 year-old daughter married to Josef Appel, brewer.fggdoc247-1 Her father bequeathed her 50 Gulden as he did to all his married daughters, stating that this was in addition to the 130 Gulden each had received at the time of their respective marriages. The bequests were distributed on 29 Jan 1808 upon completion of the probate.

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Magdalena Zwierzina
5 Feb 1778 - after 1825
Mrs. Eder
Second child of Johann Zwierzina and Josefa Abraham

Magdalena came to our attention in installments. First she was a mystery person named Magdalene Eder, attending my grandfather's baptism in1825 at Uherský Brod, a short 22 kilometers from Uherské Hradišté. At that point there was no indication who she was, or how she fit into the baptismal group. The name Eder next showed up in the 1806 will of her father, where she is listed as "daughter Magdalena married to Eder". Having recognized the name, it was easy to make the connection to the mysterious Magdalene Eder, and it became obvious that the child Johann baptized in 1825 was in fact her nephew. Eventually her own birth record was also found and it contained the following information: She was born 5 Feb 1778 in Bílovice, Moravia. Her parents were Johann Zverina [sic], Brauer, and [mother] Josefa. Godparents were Johann Vicek, brewer from Jarosov and wife Magdalena.fggdoc248-1 As a married daughter of the deceased Johann Zwierzina, she received the same bequest of 50 Gulden as the other married daughters, which was in addition to the 130 Gulden each had received when married. The bequests were distributed on 29 Jan 1808 upon completion of the probate. There is no mention of Mr. Eder's given name.

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Thekla Zwierzina
born 4 Sep 1779
Third child of Johann Zwierzina and Josefa Abraham

Thecla is mentioned in the year 1806 in her father's will as a living daughter. She was bequeathed by her late father the amount of 200 Gulden, which he had set as a standard bequest to all his unmarried or minority-aged children.fggdoc247-1, and 247-4 Her birth records were subsequently found and contain the following information: Born 4 Sep 1779 at Bílovice, Moravia as the child of Johann Zverina[sic], Brauer and [mother] Josefa. The Godparents were Johann Vicek, brewer and his wife, residents of Jarosov.fggdoc248-1

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 Rosalia Zwierzina
born circa 1780
Mrs. Martin Pinkowsky
Fourth child of Johann Zwierzina and Josefa Abraham

Rosalie is mentioned in 1806 in her father's will as the 27 year-old married daughter Rosalia Pinkovská .fggdoc248-1 As a married daughter of the deceased Johann Zwierzina, she received the same bequest as the other married daughters: 50 Gulden, which was in addition to the 130 Gulden each had received when married. The bequests were distributed on 29 Jan 1808 upon completion of the probate.
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  Anna Zwierzina
4 May 1781 - 1806/1808
Fifth child of Johann Zwierzina and Josefa Abraham

Anna first showed up in 1806 in her father's will. She was bequeathed by her late father the amount of 200 Gulden, which he had set as a standard bequest to all his unmarried or minority-aged children.fggdoc247-1, and 247-4 The bequests were distributed on 29 Jan 1808 upon completion of the probate and her share of 200 Gulden was still listed as such, although a comment beside her name indicates that she had died in the interim (between 6 Jan 1806 when the will was made out, and 29 Jan 1808 when the distribution took place). Anne would have been between 25 and 27 years old.

Her birth record was later also found: She was born 4 May 1781 in Bílovice, Moravia as the child of Johann Zwerina [sic] and [mother] Josefa. Godparents were Johann Vicek, brewer from Jarosov and his wife.fggdoc248-1

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Theresia Zwierzina
before 1782 - before 1806
Mrs. Ignatz Czernotzký
Sixth child of Johann Zwierzina and Josefa Abraham

Theresia is mentioned in her father's will as the deceased daughter and late wife of Ignatz Czernocký. Her two children, Ignatz Czernotzký (8), and Franz Czernotzký (9) shared evenly the 50 Gulden she had been bequeathed as were the other married daughters.fggdoc247-4

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Johann Zwierzina
9 Jun 1783 - 25 Jun 1783
Seventh child of Johann Zwierzina and Josefa Abraham

Johannes Zwierzina was born on 9 June at Uherské Hradišté. He died there on 25 June 1783. The entry in volume 3 of the Baptism Register of the Roman Catholic parish of Uherské Hradišté page 199 describes the newborn as Joannes, son of Joann Zwierzina, praxator (brewer), and Josepha. The godparents were Joseph Stehr, citizen, and Genoveva, his spouse, residents of Hradisch, house number 15. (I believe that his name was Johann but that the Latin version "Joannes" caused some researcher to copy it as "Johannes")

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Franz de Paula Zwierzina
born 26 Mar 1785
Eighth child of Johann Zwierzina and Josefa Abraham

Franz Zwierzina was born on 26 March 1785 at Uherské Hradišté house number 21. The entry in volume 3, page 8 of the Baptismal Register describes the newborn as Franz de Paula, boy, Roman Catholic, legitimate son of Johann Swierzina [sic], master brewer and Josepha. The godparents were Joseph Ster, Town Brewmaster, and Genove Sterin. Franz is not mentioned in the Last Will and Testament of his father dated 1806, and it could be assumed that he was no longer alive, but two children are mentioned who died in infancy, so why not this one? Did Franz chose to become a priest, or did he have a serious falling out with his father? He would have been 21 years old then.


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Josef Zyryl Zwierzina
born 6 Mar 1787
Ninth child of Johann Zwierzina and Josefa Abraham

Joseph Zwierzina was born on 6 Mar 1787 at Uherské Hradišté, house number 21. The entry in volume III of the Baptismal Register of the Roman Catholic parish of Uherské Hradišté, page 54, describes the newborn as Joseph Zyryl, son of Johann Zwirzina, brewer of Hradisch and Josepha. The Godparents were Joseph Ster, citizen and brewmaster of Hradisch and "Genov." his wifefggdoc185. The 18 year-old Joseph was bequeathed by his late father the amount of 200 Gulden, which he had set as a standard bequest to all his unmarried children or those not having attained the age of majorityfggdoc247-1, and 247-4. Josef Zyryl is said to have later moved to Vienna.fggdoc243-1

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Alois Johann Zwierzina
20 Jun 1789 - 2 Feb 1833
Tenth child of Johann Zwierzina and Josefa Abraham

Alois Zwierzina was born on 20 June 1789 at Uherské Hradišté, house number 21. Details of the birth are contained in volume 3 of the Baptismal Register of the Roman Catholic parish of Uherské Hradišté, page 4 and are as follows: Alois Johann, son of Johann Zwierzina, Town Brewmaster and Josepha, born Lazarin. The godparents were Joseph Ster, town brewer, and Genowa [sic instead of Genovefa] Sterin.

When Alois was 16 he had been bequeathed in his father's will the amount of 200 Gulden, which seems to have been the father's standard bequest to all his unmarried and/or minority-aged children. fggdoc247-1, and 247-4 He later became owner of a general store and resided at house #49 in Uherské Hradišté. On 29th October 1819 he swore the oath of fidelity to the town of Uherské Hradišté ("Zwierzina Aloÿs hat als Handelsmann mit gemischten Waren den Bürgereid geschworen") and became an acknowledged citizen of the town.fggdoc246

Alois Zwierzina swore the Burgher's Oath on 29 October 1819
as owner of a general store.

Alois died 2 February 1833 at the age of 43 years. He left a widow Eleonora, born Philipp, and children: Eleonora, 11 years old (born 1822) who married a Turecek before 1839; Franz, 8 years old (born 1825) drowned 14 Jun 1839 at the age of 14 years in the river Morava. Aloisie, 9 years old (born 1824); Filipa, 2 years old (born 1831) died 28 May 1836 at the age of 5 years old; Amalie, 1 year old (born 1832) died 18 Aug 1833 at the age of 1 year.fggdoc243-3

It looks like Alois was another Zwierzina male who produced 80% female children, and then had his only son drown at the age of 14. It is evident that none of his descendants would be bearing the Zwierzina name.

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Johann Zwierzina
born 16 April 1792
Eleventh child of Johann Zwierzina and Josefa Abraham

Johann Zwierzina was born on 16 April 1792. He was to become my great-grandfather. He married Maria Biedermann 10 July 1827. Details of the birth are contained in volume 6, page 112 of the Baptismal Register of the Roman Catholic parish of Uherské Hradišté as follows: Johann, son of Johann Swirzina, brew-master, resident of house number 21 at Holaubtin, and Josepha, born Abrahamin. The godparents were Joseph Stör Town Brew Master and Genovefa Störin, his wife. Johann was bequeathed by his late father the amount of 200 Gulden, which he had set as a standard bequest to all his unmarried or minority-aged children.fggdoc247-1 and 247-4

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Appolonia Genovefa Zwierzina
5 Jan 1794 - 2 Nov 1794
Twelfth child of Johann Zwierzina and Josefa Abraham

Apollonia was born 5 January at Uherské Hradišté, and died there on 2 November 1794. Details of the birth are entered in volume 3 of the Baptism Register of the Roman Catholic parish of Uherské Hradišté as follows: Appolonia Genovefa, daughter of Joseph Zwierzina, Brew-master and Josepha born Abrahamin. The godparents were Joseph Stör, Town Brew Master and Genovewa Störin, his wife. Residence: 21 Hollupkin.

1806 on the 4th of January GGG-grandfather Johann Zwierzina, Municipal Brew-Master of Hradisch asked a clerk and two witnesses to come to him to hear and record his Last Will.

Document title of the Last Will of Johann Zwierzina, Master Brewer

He must have known that the end was near, and he died four days later. He dictated a rather eloquent inventory of his assets and his directions for distributing his estate. He certainly had his heart in the right place, he was generous to his children, but may not have been the best mathematician. I have looked at the will a number of times and scrutinized it over and over again, and I get the same answer every time: GGG-grandfather gave away more than he had to give.fggdoc2471 According to an official entry dated 21 January 1806 "Johann Zwierzina, owner of a house had died on 8th January 1806 at the age of 64 years leaving behind his spouse Josepha and eight children, namely son Josef 17, Alois 15, Johann 13, daughter Josepha, married to Josef Appl [sic], 36 years old, Rosalia 24, Magdalena 22, Anna 19 years old, then two grandchildren from the daughter Theresia, the Mrs. Czernotzky, namely sons Franz and Ignatz".fggdoc247-3 A letter from Moravský Zemský Archiv Brno dated 31.8.1993 quotes his date of death from the parish registers of the Roman Catholic parish in Uherké Hradišté as "10 January 1806" (which is probably the date of burial rather than date of death), his age as 65, and the cause of death as Faullungfieberfggdoc185. The best interpretation I can find for that malady is gangrene, or possibly gangrene of the lung - which today wouldbe called lung cancer.

I found it interesting to compare my GGG-grandfather's probate with that of Johann Amadeus Mozart who had died just a few years earlier in 1791. The master brewer's wardrobe looks humble compared with what Mozart wore, yet on the other hand, Mozart had no real estate and people owed him big amounts of money which was considereed uncollectable. His total assetts added up to just under 600 Florin (Gulden). Landon The brewer, despite the fact that he had 11 children, he also owned a big house in town, and his estate was totalled at 2,150 Florin (Gulden). But today, 200 years later, everyone knows Mozart, whereas my GGG-grandfather will only be known to those who read this family history.

The probate documents name the following family members:

His wife: Josefa, 53 years old (b. circa 1753-1754)

Johann, born June 1783, died probably 1785
Anna, 17 years old (b.1784)
Josef, 18 years old (b. 1784), later left for Vienna.
Alois, 16 years old (b. 1789), later a merchant, died 1833.
Johann, 13 years old (b.1792), he became my great-grandfather.
Apolonie, b.1794, d. 1794
Josefa, 36 years old (b.1769-70), m. Josef Appl, brewer
Rosalie, 27 years old (b.1779), m. Pinkovská
Magdalena, 25 years old (b. 1780), married Eder
Tekla, 24 years old (b. 1781)
Theresia, (m. Ignatz Cernocký), died before 1806.


By daughter Theresia: Franz Cernocký, 9 years old, Ignatz Cernocký, 8 years old.

For some reason, son Franz de Paula Zwierzina is not mentioned. This is a mystery inasmuch as two other children who died as infants are mentioned. So we cannot assume that Franz had died before his father. Nor is it likely that he is listed as son when in fact he was not - there are two separate documents that show that he was the legitimate son of Johann Zwierzina, Brewer, and Josefa, and the godparents are the same as for other sibling. Born in 1785, Franz would have been 21 years old when his father died in 1806. Were he in the army, his father would not forget him in his will. Speculation is futile since it does not provide valid answers.

After the probate of Johann's estate, the house was transferred to his wife Josefa Zwierzina who quickly sold it to Johann Dvorák.fggdoc243-1/1 The terms of Johann's Last Will and Testament may not have given Josefa any other option. The house still stands and is quite substantial.

Almost all correspondence received from the Czech archives show variations in the spelling of the name Zwierzina. When I first questioned this, somewhat excited because I thought that perhaps I had stumbled onto the "original" spelling, I received the disturbing answer that "we now spell better than they used to". I consider this a violation of the rules of good research practices. Explanations and comments from experts are always welcome, but they should never think they are so expert that they can allow themselves to change what they see in documents. Which is why nothing short of photocopies is really adequate.

The Regional Archives (Moravský Zemský Archiv), relying on church documents of the Roman Catholic parish in Uherské Hradišté report from the Register of Births that Lieutenant Johann's (my G-gf's) parents were "Johan Swierzina" and "Josefa, born Abrahamin". The letter from the Brno City Archives (Archiv Mesta Brna) on the other hand extracted the names from the Register of Marriages of the Roman Catholic parish of St. Thomas in Brno as "Johann Zwierzina" and "Josepha, born Abraham".fggdoc133 What really matters is that the name sounds correct. The phonetic spelling is often influenced by the writer's ethnic background, quality of his hearing, and spelling skills.

I had hoped to clarify the family legend about a coal mine the Zwierzina family is said to have owned in Böhmisch Krumau (now Cesky Krumlov), and since I had been told that it had been the parents of my great-grandfather who had been the proprietors, I had counted on discovering something that would confirm this story once I had found more information. No light was, however, shed on that subject by the newly found documents.

It goes without saying that the primary objective of future research should be to find out who the parents of Johann Zwierzina1741 were, and to trace the line back as far as humanly possible. The secondary aim would be to ensure that any descendants, still living, be found and contacted.

End of Part I - Chapter 2
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Changed: 6 May 2007