The village chronicle of Dzbanov u Vysoke Myto was compiled in 1940 from the records of the Dzbanov fire department, from chronicles of nearby Knirov, Bucina, and Vysoke Myto, from priests’ records, and from the memories of elderly villagers. It covers the years 1292 to 1881 with the events of Dzbanov and of the world.
The chronicle is written in the Czech language. At the end of the text are the passages translated by Zdenka Cermakova of Dzbanov. Further translations follow. The first page of text is marked “3”:
Kniha: rozdelina na tri casti
(book divided into 3 parts)
Predmlnou, Uvad, Pameti hasicske
(forward, introduction, memories of firemen)
Napsal Josef Mlynar, cetar kronikar, rok 1940
(?, Joseph Mlynar, sergeant chronicler, year 1940)
Pages 4 and 5 are the Forward which names several old men (see index of names found in the chronicle) who were interviewed for the document.
Page 6 is the Introduction.
Pages 7 through 36 include the town history. All Czech villages had fires but Dzbanov seems to have had more than a usual number. Perhaps thatched roofs were common in this area. The two village ponds (rybnik) seem to have varied in their reserves, perhaps fed only by rainfall.
Dzbanov people attend/ed the Catholic church at nearby Knirov, St. Joseph’s, which is described on page 22. From Dzbanov, Knirov is about a 5 minute drive through the woods called Hajku/Hayku/Hayka. While most Czech villages that have no church do have a chapel, Dzbanov has none, at least not at this time.
On page 15, the 1737 cadastral (gruntovni) is mentioned along with the names that appear on it (see index of chronicle names). Some Oxford Jct. names are included! as there was a cluster emigration from Dzbanov to O.J.
Page 21 says there was cholera in the town in 1831. Further translation will reveal whether anyone died of the disease.
Page 25 tells us that in 1845 Dzbanov belonged to the city of Vysoke Myto and had 95 houses, 459 inhabitants comprising 224 men and 235 women. In March of 1846 5 farms and 3 barns at Lhuta (next village west) burned. I think the writer implies that ashes from these fires caused Dzb. 29 & 30 to burn. In May of the same year a heavy rain and tornado caused much damage in the village.
Page 26 describes the end of serfdom in 1848. Robota (labor performed for the nobles) was cancelled forever and the village folk together free (svobodne) exhaled exceedingly. On a July night in 1849 eight farms burned and were uninsured.
Page 27 lists more fires. In 1853 the ponds were apparently dry or low when a September fire took number 20. There is discussion of a tax, probably imposed to purchase a pump to keep the ponds full. The 2 ponds were the source of water for fighting fires.
Page 28, a fire in 1858, again with the south pond low or dry. The poverty is mentioned, perhaps starting in 1864. Low on this page begins the story of 33 houses being burned on October 19, 1861 at 3 p.m. The fire started in #96 and an east wind took the flames to everything downwind and into the Hajku woods, with mention of thatched roof/s, and the smoke was seen all the way to Prague. The house #s and residents are listed on page 29.
Page 31 tells of Jiricku’s #29 burning in August 1866. The Prussian military granted someone 1000 gold units compensation (?). In 1866 some residents went to America due to the poverty in the town and fear of a wet summer (?). This would be a good page to have better-translated.
Page 32 has 1868 fires with slight insurance payment. An 1870 fire on a Saturday noon Sept. 27th started in barns of #26 and spread to the blacksmith shop at 25, then houses (see name index).
Page 35 talks about soldiers from Dzb. going to war with or in the Balkans, and yet more fires.
Page 36, the last page of the chronicle, says that the pub was in #15, under Mudrunkou’s ownership in 1881 the year the fire brigade was organized (finally!) Hapsburg rule required every village with 10 or more houses to have a pub (hostinec) which probably served as a community center as well as serving beer (locally brewed) and food.