Vodraska from Ellsworth, Kansas

Posted: Thu, 10/18/2012 - 13:24
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I am just beginning to research the Vodraska family from Ellsworth, Kansas. I have not found an indication of what village they were from in Bohemia or Moravia. A relative tells me they came from Moravia, but Bohemia or Austria is in all the records I have managed to find.

Here is what I know:
Joseph Vodraska (my g-great-grandfather) was born in 1828. He married Anna Pertl b. 1831 somewhere around 1858. I don’t know how many children they had besides my great-grandfather, also Joseph Vodraska b. 29 May 1867. Joseph the son married Mary Bartunek (b. 27 May 1868 in NY). By 1885, Both generations of Vodraskas were living in Ellsworth County, Kansas eventually settling in Blackwolf, Kansas. Joseph Vodraska (the father) was killed by lightening in 1897, so family sources tell me.

At some point in time, the family possibly spent time in Cleveland, OH. Someone mentioned they’d gone back to the Czech Republic (Bohemia) for an extended time period and then returned to the U.S. None of this is anything I can substantiate.

Mary and Joseph Vodraska had 10 children, including Antone Vodraska who was killed in action in 1918 and William who died as an infant. My grandmother (their 8th child) was Mildred Vodraska and she married Ralph Vopat. They lived in Ellsworth county, KS their whole lives.

I’d love to hear from anyone who might know where the Vodraska or the Pertl family might have came from in Czech Republic. If anyone has any information on other children that Anna and Joseph might have had, it would be good to have as well.

Thanks in Advance!


Hi Peggy,

My g/g/g/g/grandmother was a Wondracek, also seen as Vondracka – you see the similarity to your name, well within usual spelling variations.

I have noticed Wondracek’s in Litomysl and suburbs (Svitavy district, Pardubice region), also in the small neighboring villages of Osik and Pazucha, where mine were from.

Hope that helps!


Thanks for the idea. I have been playing with alternate spellings, so I will have to try that one when I search. Interestingly enough, there is a Joseph Wondracek on the same ship as my other g-g-grandparents. Their daughter was Mary Bartunek. Now I have something else to follow up on.

Peggy – I’ve been looking for a Kate Wondracek immigration – may I ask which ship you found Joseph on?

Since posting I have found the Wondracek’s appear to have been in Pazucha previous to Osik. Quite a few records pertaining to them in that village in the early-mid 1800’s.


Sorry I did not see this until today. The ship information that had Joseph Wondraceck was the Elbe, which landed in NYC 6 May 1884. I also found a Joe Vodraska, whose age was off by 2 years on the Neckar. It arrived in NYC on 5 Dec 1882. Unfortunately, unless he left the U.S. and came back it can’t be my relative, because they were in Kansas in 1880 and supposedly came to the states in 1875. Maybe one of these is your relative!

I think I found my Vodraska family in Civice, Pilsen, Czech Republic. It was pure accident. I was researching another relative and found the name. When I followed the records, I found both the father Josef (1827) and the son Josef (1867). I also found Anna (1831) and Rosalie (1863). I am fairly sure they are my relatives, but there are far too many common names such as Anna and Josef nearby! Thanks for all your input.