John Helebrant

John Helebrant; My Great Great Grandfather & His Story

This photo is one that I received from Loray Hastings (Frank Helebrant's Great Granddaughter). The man on left has been confirmed as Frank Helebrant (My Great Great Great Uncle, brother to John Helebrant who is my Great Great Grandpa). The man on the right, however, has not been confirmed as to which family member he may be. It has been said that he could possibly be John Helebrant, but again, that has not been confirmed thus far.

           My great great grandfather, John Helebrant, has been somewhat of mystery to the family. This has made it extremely difficult to research him and his intermediate family, because there just isn't very much documentation or family information on him. Nonetheless, these are copies of the original documents and very little information that I was able to scrape together on him.

          John Helebrant was born in December of 1845 in Bohemia, Czechoslovakia to his parents, John Helebrant and Frantiskr Lytver. The exact day of his birth is unknown. He had one brother, Frank Helebrant (born February 24, 1842). John immigrated to America from Bohemia sometime in 1879 and resided in Revanna, Nebraska. He married Josephine Slodovnik(ova) on November 30, 1880, in Douglas County, Nebraska. He was 34, She was 25. They were married by Reverend Vaclav Kocernik in the Saint Wenceslaus Parish, Omaha. John and Josephine had four children together; Anna (1881), Antonia "Tonnie" (1883), Louis (1884), and James (1886). During that time John worked as a farmer. He died in October of 1887 (42). The cause of his death is still unknown to the family. He is buried in the Horak Cemetery in Revanna, Nebraska.

This was a census I was able to find at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. This census would have been taken shortly after he immigrated here to America, but just before he Married Josephine Slodovnik(ova).

This is a record of the marriages that took place in Douglas County, Nebraska from 1854 to 1881. This is the only official documentation I have on John & Josephine's marriage, and the only documentation that has been found to mention his parents. Also found at the Family History Library.

Another record of Marriages in Douglas County.

This was a list Reverends in the area, one of which (Rev. Vaclav Korcarnik) Married John and Josephine to witnesses Adam Hajek and John Hora.

Reverend Valcav Kocarnik of the Wenceslaus Parish in Omaha, NE

A map of what is known as the Horak Cemetery where John Helebrant is buried.

The Marker stone of John Helebrant in the Horak Cemetary.

A little bit of history on the Horak Cemetery (or the Bohemian National Cemetary) where John is buried. Located in Revanna, NE.

Where My Journey Into The Past Began

(1) Antonia "Tonnie" Helebrant-Stanton, (2) Louis Helebrant, (3) Agnes Kostal-Glodowski, (4) James "Jim" Helebrant, (5) Anna Helebrant-Smaha
(6) Albie Kostal-Psota, (7) James Kostal, (8) Edward Kostal, (9) Josephine Sladovnik-Helebrant-Kostal, (10) Emma Kostal-Psota

          In July of 2006 I took a routine summer trip to Idaho to visit my family. While there, my Aunt Laurel (Fern, as the family calls her) was gracious in parting with some very old family photos. As I entered her home we received a warm welcome and then visited for a while. At one point she handed me a stack of old photos and it was fascinating to see family photos of what seemed to (almost) be familiar faces, and yet I had not a clue as to who they were. We visited for a short while longer and then parted with goodbyes. I then finished my stay in Idaho before returning home. Upon arriving home late in the evening, I couldn't wait another day before looking at the photos again. This time, looking much more closely, trying to make sense of any small clue of finding names that belong to the beautiful people in the photos. All I could really see was the town name and state printed on the front of some of the original photos. Looking back I am so grateful for that tiny bit of information. Where it led me next was amazing.

          I decided then, to try a Google search. I typed in one of our family names, with the town and state. I tried "Helebrant, Revanna NE" and the search came up with the family memories blog. I held in my hands a group family photo (above) in hopes of finding some connection. I proceeded to click on family memories and found myself absolutely speechless for a few moments. There before me on my computer screen was the exact family photo staring at me that I held in my hands. A beautiful blog with very neatly typed names, in order, beneath the photo. A name listed below the photo for each family member.

          Hungry for even more information on the family members I had never known, I emailed the writer (Steve Cornelius) of the blog the very next day. Not too long after (though a painfully long wait), I received an email back. It was just the beginning, but I now knew who the people in photograph were, and I had just met my long lost, long distance, second Cousins.

** Reference for the family members in the photo (above) and their relation to me:

(1) Antonia "Tonnie" Helebrant Stanton (1883-1964) - My Great Great Aunt, Louis Helebrant's (My Great   Grandpa) Sister, John Helebrant and Josephine Kostal's (My Great Great Grandparents) Daughter.
(2) Louis Helebrant (1884-1971) - My Great Grandpa, Married Josephine "Josie" Novy-Helebrant, and was father to Evelyn Veronica Helebrant-Monroe (My Grandmother).
(3) Agnes Kostal-Glodowski (1890-1985) - My Great Great Half Aunt, Louis Helebrant's (My Great Grandpa) Half Sister, James and Josephine Kostal's (My Great Great Grandparents) Daughter.
(4) James "Jim" Helebrant (1886-1955) -  My Great Great Uncle, Louis Helebrant's (My Great Grandpa) Brother, John Helebrant and Josephine Kostal's (My Great Great Grandparents) Son, Married Rose Horak-Helebrant (My Great Aunt and distant cousin).
(5) Anna Helebrant-Smaha (1881-1959) - My Great Great Aunt, Louis Helebrant's (My Great Grandpa) Sister, John Helebrant and Josephine Kostal's (My Great Great Grandparents) Daughter.
(6) Albie Kostal-Psota (1899-1978) - My Great Great Half Aunt, Louis Helebrant's (My Great Grandpa) Half Sister, James and Josephine Kostal's (My Great Great Grandparents) Daughter.
(7) James Kostal (1863-1948)  - My Great Great Step Grandpa, My Great Great Grandma Josephine's second husband.
(8) Edward Kostal (1893-1967) - My Great Great Half Uncle, James and Josephine Kostal's (My Great Great Grandparents) Son, Louis Helebrant's (My Great Grandpa) Half Brother, along with Arlene Kostal-Cornelius's Dad and Steve Cornelius's Grandpa.
(9) Josephine Sladovnik-Helebrant-Kostal (1844-1928) - My Great Great Grandmother, Married first to John Helebrant (not pictured) then widowed and ma rried to James Kostal, Louis Helebrant's (My Great Grandpa) Mother.
(10) Emma Kostal-Psota (1896-1919) - My Great Great Half Aunt, Louis Helebrant's (My Great Grandpa) Half Sister.