1844 – Alžbeta Káš
Alžbeta Káš was born August 7, 1844 to Ján Káš and Katarína Blanár in House #379 in the town of Moravské Lieskové in the province of Slovakia, a part of the Kingdom of Hungary.
1849 – Andrej Ochodnický
Andrej Ochodnický was born on April 22, 1849 to Ján Ochodnický and Alžbeta Beňovič in House #232 in the neighboring town of Bošáca in the province of Slovakia, Hungary.
The name Moravské Lieskové roughly translates as “Moravia Hazelnuts.” Archaeologists have found evidence of people living in the area as early as 3000 BCE.
In historical records the village was first mentioned in 1398. It is likely that the first village school was established around 1580. In 1756, records show that 2,909 people lived in the village. In 1807, a fire fanned by strong winds destroyed more than 300 houses and barns. The image to the right is of the Lutheran church, which dates from 1786.
Today, Moravské Lieskové is a village and municipality in Nové Mesto nad Váhom District in the Trenčín Region of western Slovakia. To get an idea of the local peasant dress and their folk music, follow this link to a YouTube video of a folk ensemble performing at a Harvest Festival in Moravské Lieskové.
Today, Bošáca (pronounced Bo-shat-sa) is a village and municipality in Nové Mesto nad Váhom District in the Trenčín Region of western Slovakia. The Bošáca valley lies south of the White Carpathian mountains.
The first written mention of town of Bošáca was in 1380 when it was referred to as Bosach. The spelling often changed over the centuries. In 1479 it was Bsacz, in 1506 Bosacz, and in 1773 Bosacza. The Hungarian name of the village was Bosác.
Ancient tools found have been found in Slovakia that date to 270,000 BCE, in the Early Paleolithic era. A Neanderthal skull from about 200,000 BCE was found by archeologists.
The region of Slovakia had first been settled by Celtic tribes around 400 BCE, then by Germanic tribes, and finally by Slavic tribes around the sixth century CE.
Slavic peoples are traditionally divided along linguistic lines into West Slavic (including Czechs, Poles and Slovaks), East Slavic (including Belarusians, Russians, and Ukrainians), and South Slavic (including Serbs, Bulgarians, Croats, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Bosniaks and Slovenians).
The early Slavs worshipped a single god, called Perun, who created lightning and thunder and was lord of all.
The major political regions that emerged consisted of three historic lands: Bohemia and Moravia in the west (often called the Czech Lands) and Slovakia in the east.
In 1844, Slovakia had been ruled by the Kingdom of Hungary for almost 1,000 years and was known in Slovak as Horné Uhorsko (Upper Hungary). The Hungarian kingom comprised what we know today as Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia along with a variety of smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary’s borders. In the ninth and tenth centuries, it was known by its Latin name Regnum Hungariae. By the 1840s, it was called Magyar Királyság in the Hungarian language or Königreich Ungarn in German. From 1526 to 1918, the Kingdom of Hungary came under the control of the Germanic Habsburg monarchy, which had ruled areas around Austria since 1276. They took their dynastic name from a Swiss fortress—the Habsburg—which may have derives its name from the Germanic word “hab” which meant a “ford.” The castle was located on a ford of the river Aar, which flows into the upper Rhine.
In the sixteenth century, Hungary served as a buffer between the Ottoman Empire of the Turks and the Holy Roman Empire to the west and the Kingdom of Poland to the north. As the Turks encroached on Hungarian soil, they captured the area that is today the modern nation of Hungary, while another Hungarian region, Transylvania, became a Turkish protectorate. Only Slovakia was left as the remaining independent piece of the Kingdom of Hungary. In 1536 it became known as “Royal Hungary” with Bratislava as the capital. From 1526 to 1830, nineteen Habsburg sovereigns were crowned “Kings and Queens of Hungary” in the St. Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava. At the time, Bratislava was known as Prešporok (in Slovak), Pressburg (in German), and Pozsony (in Hungarian). Bratislava remained the capital of Hungary until the Turks were finally ousted from Central Europe in 1786 and Buda became the capital city.
The territory of present-day Slovakia was the largest producer of silver and the second-largest producer of gold in Europe.
The first king of Hungary was crowned by Pope Silvester II on Christmas day of 1000 CE. Named Vajk at birth, he was baptized at age ten as Štefan. As the first king of Hungary, he was known as Stephan I or Štefan I. Later, he was made a saint, Saint Stephen I or in Slovak, Svätý Štefan I.
From 1526 to 1918, the Kingdom of Hungary came under the control of the Habsburg monarchy, which had ruled areas around Austria since 1276.
In the sixteenth century, Hungary served as a buffer between the Ottoman Empire of the Turks and the Holy Roman Empire to the west and the Kingdom of Poland to the north. As the Turks encroached on Hungarian soil, they captured the area that is today the modern nation of Hungary, while another Hungarian region, Transylvania, became a Turkish protectorate. Only Slovakia was left as the remaining independent piece of the Kingdom of Hungary. In 1536 it became known as “Royal Hungary” with Bratislava, as the capital.
From 1526 to 1830, nineteen Habsburg sovereigns were crowned “Kings and Queens of Hungary” in the St. Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava. At the time, Bratislava was known as Prešporok (in Slovak), Pressburg (in German), and Pozsony (in Hungarian). Bratislava remained the capital of Hungary until the Turks were finally ousted from Central Europe in 1786 and Buda became the capital city.
1860 – 1869: oppression
In 1867, the nation of Austria-Hungary was formed. For forty years, from 1867 to 1918, the Slovaks experienced one of the worst oppressions in their history. In a nationalist fervor, Hungary began to pass new laws to wipe out non-Magyar cultures. As the biggest non-Magyar culture in Hungary, the Slovaks suffered the most. Hungarian was the only language taught in schools. Only those Slovaks who adopted Hungarian culture and language could hope to get a decent job. At its worst, Slovak children were taken from their families to be brought up as Hungarians.
So blatant were Hungary’s efforts to ethnically cleanse Hungary of the Slovak culture and language that a word was given to their actions—Magyarization. During the dark days of the second half of the nineteenth century, many thousands of Slovaks left their homeland to try and build a new life in America.
1870 – 1879: marriage and children
Alžbeta Káš most likely married her first husband, Martin Drietomský, some time around 1864 or 1865. By 1873, Alžbeta was a 29-year-old widow.
Andrej Ochodnický, five years her junior, married the widowed Alžbeta Drietomský (nee Káš) on November 4, 1873 in Bošáca. After marriage, they moved to her home town of Moravské Lieskové.
Andrej and Alžbeta had four children, all born in Moravské Lieskové.
- Ján Ochodnický was born on September 16, 1875
- Štefan Ochodnický, Ján’s twin, was also born on September 16, 1875, but died the same day
- Štefan Ochodnický was born on March 3, 1878
- Eva Ochodnický was born on October 14, 1881
Presumably, both surviving sons, Ján and Štefan, served in the Hungarian army. Military service was manditory. Young men were drafted at the age of 20, although they could volunteer as young as 17. Depending on the branch of army (infantry, cavalry, or field artillery), active duty could range from two to seven years. After that, men were expected to be part of the army reserves for an additional seven years. During that period, they were required to report for duty for two weeks annually. Conscripts were not allowed to marry until their active service had been fulfilled. As a result, many were 26 or 27 years old at their marriage. Štefan Ochodnický reportedly served in the Hungarian cavalry for two years. Still, he was 26 years old when he married.
The Hungarian army was one of four armed forces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Known as the Magyar Királyi Honvédség or Royal Hungarian Honvéd (Homeland Defense), its units were organized by ethnic region (Slovaks, Magyars, Romenians, Slovenians, Croats, Serbs, etc). Towns and villages from the Trenčiansky komitát (Trenčín county) provided recruits for the 15th Trenčín Honvéd Infantry Regiment. The light cavalry units were known as Hussars (Husár in Slovak). Cavalry soldiers were all volunteers. I don’t know which Hussar regiment drew recruits from the Trenčín area. At this point, we have found no military records for Štefan or Ján.
Andrej Ochodnický’s father was a miller in the town of Bošáca. It can be assumed that Andrej followed in his footsteps as a miller.
Joyce Kolnik reports that the remains of the Ochodnický mill can still be found in Bošáca behind a newer house at #139. The woman living in this home (in 1987) claimed to be a descendent of Ján Ochodnický. She said that the mill was known in the village as the Ochodnický mill.
When Andrej Ochodnický retired or died, Ján Ochodnický, the elder son, assumed ownership of the mill. That meant that his brother Štefan needed to look for other opportunities.
Štefan Ochodnický married Eva Klč on February 16, 1904 at the Evangelical Church in the town of Lubina, Slovakia. Štefan Ochodnický and Eva Klč emigrated to the United States in February 1906.
We have no record about the lives, marriages, or deaths of Andrej and Alžbeta’s other two surviving children, Ján and Eva.
Andrej and Alžbeta Ochodnický died in Slovakia, Hungary. We have no record of their deaths, although it appears that Alžbeta died in the town of Bošáca.