Born Blanche Evelyn Dvorak (Devorak) November 13, 1913 in Dawson, Minnesota of a Bohemian father, Josef, and Swedish mother (Hilda Gustafva Thompson). As a young girl Blanche was sent to live with her Aunt Julia and Uncle Joe Svobodny in St. Paul, Minnesota upon the death of her father. All the children were sent to live with relatives out of poverty and to make way for the new family when her mother re-married. Mom had eight of us kids. She was preceded in her death August 16, 1994 by two, Claude Edward Jr. and John Peter.
The Czech/Bohemian side of the family immigrated in 1855:
Václav Dvořák/Dolejšek married Katerina Koranda/Malecha as the earliest "grands". Their son, Pavel was born June 17, 1791 in a small southern Bohemian village, Pořežánky, house #4. Pavel married Anna Kotlaba (born 1791 Lhota #3 near Tyn) on September 03, 1816 in Bosilec, Bohemia. They had four children in Pořežánky#4: Maria (b: August 12, 1817), Katerina (b: June 04, 1824; d: Feb 15, 1908), Josef (b: March 02, 1827) Matej (b: Jan 30, 1832), and František, my great great grandfather (b: March 26, 1819; d: Nov. 16, 1897 in Veseleyville, North Dakota).
František married Maria Hlavacz who lived next door at Pořežánky #6. She was born August 03, 1824 and they got married February 04, 1851. They had twins, František (my great grandfather) and Jan Joseph, April 23, 1853 and two years emmigrated to the United States, in Spillville, Iowa. Another child followed, Mary (Houske) 1858 – 1921 and moved to Veselyville, North Dakota. Jan Joseph also moved to North Dakota with his wife Anna Humpal. Due to droughts in the 1870’s and grasshopper plagues of 1873-76 many Bohemian and Moravian settlers moved from Spillville to Walsh County, North Dakota in covered wagons and resettled about 1880.
František, my great grandfather, married Maria Alzebeta Moznett October 01, 1877 in Spillville. Maria was also born in Bohemia Sept. 9, 1855 and died Dec. 4, 1899. Of their children, William (1876 – 1900) and Julia 1880 - 1968 drove a wagon out to Oklahoma for the land rush but he died of typhoid and Julia had to drive the wagon back to Iowa herself. Julia married Joe Svobodny and lived in the West 7th neighborhood of Saint Paul in a strong Czech community. Other children of František and Maria were Marie (1878 - 1948), Frank (1881 - 1954), Ed (1885 - 1959), Frances who was stillborn, Roman (1888 – 1976), Rose my godmother (1890 - 1979), Agnes (1893 – 1976), Albert (1895 - 1981), and my grandfather Joe (1883 - 1923). I have all the above's genealogy with spouses and children!
My Grandfather Joe went out to farm in Township in western Minnesota with his brother Frank. Frank eventually sold his portion of the farm to his brother. Joe also found a lovely Swedish descendant, Hilda Gustava Thompson to marry in 1909! They had five children: Hyldred (Dolly MBride) 1910; Reynold (1915); Jeanette (Sis Smith) 1920; Joe (Buddy) 1922, and my mother Blanche (Landsberger) 1913.
My grandparents Joe and Hilda on the farm with (l-r) Reynold, Dolly, Blanche c 1916