Where did the Teplys come from in Bohemia? How in the world can we find them?
Is Teply a common name in Czechia today? Are they from a particular area?
Here’s a fun website – kdejsme.cz (“Where are we”). It shows the current distribution of surnames in the Czech Republic.
To use it, be sure to include diacritical accents, such as Teplý and Teplá.
If we search for Teplý, we get lots of good information*. For example, the most Teplýs are in Praha (Prague) (80), and there are 1083 Teplýs in the entire country. But the highest concentration of Teplý surnames is in the area of Policka (47), then Pardubice (76) and Chrudim (66).
Same results if we search for Teplá, the female version of the surname.* Highest concentration in the same areas.
Well, it so happens that our Teply family is from the Policka area. And for several hundred years, their ancestors lived in this same area.
From the 1927 obituary of Josephine Petras Teply Svoboda, Frank Teply’s mother:
Josephine Svoboda was born in the village of Rybme, county of Policskey, district of Chrudim, Bohemia, on August 7, 1837.Obituary of Josephine Svoboda, The Marysville Advocate (Marysville, Kansas) · 24 Nov 1927, Thu · Page 3
The village of Rybme turns out to be Pustá Rybná, in the Policka area. As we research Josephine and her husband Joseph Teply, and their ancestors, we find this area of Bohemia was “Teply Central”.
The hundreds of citations I’ve found so far are located in a handful of villages in this area. Here’s a map of those villages, an area about four miles square. This area is about 100 miles east of Prague.
We’ll visit these villages a lot as we uncover the stories of the Teply ancestors.
* Most of the time, I’ll use the Americanized version, Teply, to refer to both males and females.
- Obituary of Josephine Svoboda, The Marysville Advocate (Marysville, Kansas) · 24 Nov 1927, Thu · Page 3