27 – Say Goodbye to House Numbers and Maps

As we’ve researched family history earlier than 1770, we’ve lost some of our best research tools – house numbers and maps.

Just think how those two things – house numbers and maps – have enriched our knowledge of the Teplys.

  • We know in which houses our Teplys were born, lived, married, had children, and died.
  • We have seen some of those houses that exist today.
  • We’ve seen those houses on contemporaneous maps.
  • We know that their house was by a stream, or north of the village, or a mile from the church, or close to another family house.

A spreadsheet – kinda geeky

When I come across a citation of a Teply or close in-law, I add it to a spreadsheet.

I want you to see the dramatic difference in the citations before and after 1770, when house numbers were mandated.

A pivot table – even geekier

The spreadsheet contains a pivot table that groups the citations by house number.

For example, we can show citations for Betlém house no. 3. It shows the date and the person associated with each citation.

And for pure theater, we can say:

“Show me all the house numbers in Pustá Rybná from 1770 to 1870 where a Teply lived.”

It’s quite remarkable. In 100 years, some Teply or close in-law lived in almost every house in the village.

And that doesn’t include the century before 1770, before house numbers.

Nibbles Extra Credit

The first house numbering was ordered by Maria Theresa in 1770. Soldiers went through each village, assigning a number to each house. Those are the numbers we’ve seen in our earlier posts.

The first wave of renumbering came in 1805. In 1857, the Austrian Emperor allowed another new system of numbering by streets.

And today, two numbering systems are used concurrently. The two sets are red (old or conscription) and blue (new or orientation). Either number may be used in addresses.

When you’re in Prague, use the blue number for Google or taxi to find a place for great food and beer.


  • Map – Czech – Stable Cadastre Map – Imperial Print – 5425-1-1 – 1839 – Oldris – House No 118 (193)
  • Czech Teply Citations – Mark Jarvis
  • Maria Theresa – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Theresa
  • Photos – Mark Jarvis – October 2019

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