COUNTY IAGenWeb Project
Martin Cerner (Cyrner, Cirner)
b: 10 Nov. 1830 at Reporyje, Bohemia
of the farmer and soldier Josef Cyrner and Anna Richter; grandson of
the gamekeeper and shepherd Martin Cyrner and Marie Brichacek. (Note:
the surname is written as Cyrner, Cirner, Cigner, and even Zyrner in
the Czech church records.)
is a translation and transcription of a letter dated 26 April 1895.
The letter was sent from Martin's brother, Josef, who lived in
Bohemia, to him in Iowa City. Apparently, Martin had been widowed
in 1888 and was in search of a wife and had enlisted his brother back
in Bohemia to find him one. His brother, Josef, wrote:
Brother, your letter brought us joy and reached us in good health. So
we greet you a hundred thousand times. My wife and children are already
angry with me for not writing back to you for so long. I was searching
for women, and I found one. She promised to join you, but when it came
down to it, she hesitated
that I could arrange it with you that if it doesnít suit her, you would
pay for her return trip. It is a difficult thing to spend so much money
on her and have nothing for it in the end. It is better to have no
woman at all. At the same time, she was deceitful. She has a boy. She
denied him until I found it out. That is why I havenít written to you
for so long. My wife feels so sorry about what you are going through.
Not even one of a hundred men could endure it. But what is the use if
we canít get any woman to go there? For that, you mustnít be angry at
simply canít do it, as much as we might wish it for you with all our
heart. The winter here was long with a lot of snow. It let up on St.
Josephís Day, and since then, it has been so nice that we have
practically finished sowing the grain. Itís nice here. We already had a
dry spell, but it is raining today, so what hasnít sprouted should come
up well now. The only thing is that grain is very inexpensive here. A
centner of rye is 6 gulden, wheat 7, barley 7.50, oats 6, beets 70
kreuzer. Prices have dropped so much that itís already impossible to
plant. I pay a high rent, so I donít know how I will be able to endure
it. Things will turn out badly for me. It would have been better if I
had followed you.
it is already too late. I am already so old. This year, Iíve had a cold
for two months already so that I canít get out into the woods. At the
beginning of April, I thought that I would not endure it. Today, I
already feel a bit better. So we shall not see each other again until
we meet in the afterlife. It is no use, even though everybody has
brothers and sisters and they meet at least once a year. How is it that
we are so far from each other? When one is young, it is not a great
concern, but when one grows old, one often thinks about how nice it
would be if we could share our troubles with one another.
wrote to me that I should write and let you know what you should send.
I have razors, Brother, so I ask you if you could send me a gold
necklace for my wife. She has always wanted me to buy one for her, but
it is impossible for me. I have a lot of expenses. If it does not harm
you in any way, I would be grateful, and you would bring her great joy.
You canít imagine how much she thinks of you, what you must endure, and
how you can be alone without a wife who does the washing and other
things for you.
again, we greet and kiss all of you a hundred thousand times, and
remain your devoted friends to the dark grave. I ask you, Brother, to
write back to me soon. Donít be angry that I didnít write back to you
for so long or that I wasnít able to help you. God be with you. Long
live America!Josef and Marie CirnerKopanina