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"In Search for the Fantes Family"

A trip of discovery

A journey to the past

A link to the future


Day 3 & 4


Closing Notes
Family Chart
Jakob Survival
Fantes' Survivors

Oops!, we found the house 27 alright, but it wasn’t corresponding to the map. In fact, the house that corresponded to the map was in a street without direct access. My partner started to doubt my map skills that have been unshakeable for a number of years. Lourdes wanted to ask somebody, she trusted people and it does not matter what language they speak. I trust maps fully. However, I learned that I shouldn’t be so trusty when I am reading an ancient map. She won. We had to ask somebody. Our candidate was a nice man with a bag hanging in his shoulder full of papers. The Mailman I thought…perfect. I sent my partner, co-pilot, wife and now Czech translator with a map to ask the fellow. She does not want to do anything with maps so she steps down armed with Spanish, English and her own arms to find the Fantes' homes.

[below,my partner, translator and wife who believes only in people and not in maps] 


After a while, Lourdes and the presumed Mailman came to the Car.

  As I suspected, a very friendly smile and not a word of English!. Lourdes said “he wants to come with us”. I asked “where?”. Answer:  “I don’t know”. So in a few seconds the fellow was in the car giving instructions to Lourdes, and she in turn instructed me what to do: straight…left….right. That went on for a few minutes, until we arrived to the biggest building in town: the municipality. We stepped down. He knew I was a Fantes in search of their homes. How he knew this is still a mystery to me.

He opened the building with his own keys and everybody in the building said hello to him with the utmost respect. He opened the door of very large office and signed us to sit in comfortable chairs. Promptly, he had two secretaries bringing him a handful of handwritten book notes back and forth. He in turn transcribed more notes into a separate piece of paper.  Obviously, he was not the Mailman. I knew that when I entered the building. This generous person was Josef Lavicka: the “Matrikar” of the city of the City of Ckyne!. He gave me as a present a book in Czech of the history of Ckyne.  

[Below, Mr Josef Lavicka. The generous "Matrikar" of  the town of Ckyne. He gave me as a present, a book of the history of Ckyne, that relates an interesting Fantes survival story]

He took us to the houses # 60 Markus Fantes (Josef Fantes brother), house # 96 Lazar Fantes (Josef Fantes nephew), # 27 Jakob Fantes (Josef Fantes father) and then # 90 Josef Fantes home. Just around the corner from the old Ckyne’s Synagogue.  Mr. Lavicka saved the day thank you.

[Below, home of Jakob Fantes, he was born in 1769, his wife was Franziska Lewit]  


Ready to go back to Vimperk for a good night sleep. Vimperk is at about 10 to 15 minutes drive uphill of Ckyne. In the book of Hugo Gold on Jewish of Bohemia that is in German and Alex Woodle copied the chapters of Vimperk and Marienbad for me, the Fantes(es) are mentioned several times as active members of the Jewish community. Alois, Leopold and Ignaz Fantes are mentioned  a few times. The pictures of Alois and Ignaz are included in the chapter of Vimperk.

  Day 4




“Meanwhile I found quite miracously the marriage record

of Ignatz FANTES. They married in Jindrichuv Hradec in

June 5, 1878. Ignatz FANTES (25), son of Joseph and

Anna FANTES married Josephine DUBSKY (26).


Friedrich FANTES, son of

Ignatz FANTES, salesman of Marien Bad (Marianske

Lazne) and Josephina FANTES nee DUBSKY of Platz am den




From Julius M.




We wake up early. We knew that Achab was coming later in the morning to work some and help us in identifying stones and to accompany us as well. Alex Woodle sent me already pictures with many of the tombstones of the Ckyne Cemetery. Armed with these copies we headed to the Cemetery. Our first challenge was to find the Cemetery. It was a gorgeous spring day. There was not a cloud in the skies of Ckyne. A bit on the cold side, especially, for a couple who lives in Key Biscayne. We stopped in the Center of Ckyne for a cup of coffee and to find out where the cemetery was, through asking only, and no Maps.

  My translator went out, and I thought it was a good opportunity to ask for the Jewish Cemetery and to demonstrate myself that I could do it. I had a handicap, the very nice lady I was talking to should had been over her 90’s…… and very hard of hearing. Again, a big smile and no English. ….and hard of hearing. Time was of the essence. My partner was coming in any moment now.  I wanted to get directions by myself.

My English and Spanish Vocabulary took me nowhere. My sign language brought a big smile and a question. Her question: “Hotel?”, my hopeless answer “no Hotel, Cemetery!, Cemetery!!”.  As my translator came, I just paid my coffee. I wanted to tip her, and under no circumstance, she accepted the tip. Big smiles again and warm good byes and we left.

  My translator decided to ask for help outside the Coffee house. She did and had a long explanation in Czech by another nice Czech citizen from Ckyne. She instructed me to get into the Car. “turn right, go straight, continue straight”, I said “what?, we are leaving town now!”. She said “that is what he told me to go straight, straight, straight ahead, and it was on the right side”. I said “I don’t believe it, we are leaving town don’t you see?”, she then told me “I think is there, at that nice hill, passing the railroad track”…and what else is new… my translator was right again.

  I took all my copies and began the Job of identifying the Fantes Tombstones.  Lourdes meanwhile was taking photos. We identified the the gravestones of: Ignaz Fantes, Alois Fantes, Anna Fantes, Otto Fantes, Sarl Fantes and others. I decided to see if going stone by stone I could find the lost Joseph or Jakob Fantes gravestones.

A really outside chance there since Achab had that cemetery well searched. No luck there. As I was looking and had two lines to go, Achab and happy Chubbie arrived. I asked Achab about the Stones written only in Hebrew if I had correctly identified as Fantes, and he told me that we had a good eye. We were right.

  I asked him about the other missing  Fantes, and he was not very optimistic on the Surface stones that he had already checked. His answer: maybe deeper. Alternatively, the stones have been stolen. He said that he would look deeper. He is doing that right now, as I write this letter.

[Below,Achab while working...the town of Ckyne in the backgroung]  


He took photographs for his careful work of documentation

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Last updated: July 06, 2002.