Unanswered Questions
in Vyborny Genealogy


The text given below is among the earliest pages written by Prof.Carl Vyborny for the vyborny.com website in 1999. Though our knowledge has increased since the time the original text (slightly updated only) was presented here - the principal considerations are still relevant and the evolution of knowledge can be illustrated by comparing the text to some other specialized pages describing information obtained recently.
The text was based on the experience and resources availabe to some members of Vyborny family branches of both Caslav/Kutna Hora and Havlickuv(Nemecky) Brod regions. It is known at present that early Vybornys had lived at least at seven localities: (1)-Klatovy, (2)-Jenichov, (3)-Pisek region, (4)-Tabor region, (5)-Hermanuv Mestec / Chrudim region, (6)-Nemecky Brod region, (7)-Caslav / Kutna Hora region.
The Vyborny surname (spelled in an early way) very probably appeared as some nickname within some of those localities. Migration of persons from one locality to another was presumed. Some of the localities are situated too close to others (namely 5-6-7 and 1-3-4) to be mutualy isolated. It is the goal of our future research to understand the origin and the early evolution of individual branches of the Vyborny family.


The information presented at vyborny.com is the best available to the authors at the present time. It should be clear, however, that not everything about Vyborny genealogy is known and that not every living family member can trace his or her lineage to the family's origin. Several unsettled issues are outlined below. Others may come to light in the future.

The Vyborny/Cernik(Cerny) Legend

The story that there was once a man with the surname Cernik or Cerny, master of the estate of the Jesuit Monastery at Kutna Hora, and that his name was changed to Vyborny gives a basis for the origin of the family name. Josef(*1864) felt that it was likely Vacslav(*1690) Vyborny, son of Frydrich Vyborny, who did the most to make the Vyborny/Cernik story part of family lore. Vacslav lived to what was then an extremely old age of 80 years, had three grandsons from whom many in the Kresetice line of the family descended, and no doubt had an opportunity to talk to many generations of family members. Such talk must have, on occasion, turned to Vacslav's grandfather Vyborny/Cernik and to the Golden Age of Bohemia before the Thirty Years War.

The legend therefore has a certain credibility in that it appears to arise from contemporaneous accounts. In addition, anyone fabricating an untrue or exaggerated story about the origin of a name such as Vyborny (meaning excellent in Czech) would likely link it to nobility or heroic individuals rather than a highly competent "manager".

The Vyborny/Cernik(Cerny) legend establishes certain boundary conditions that are subject to testing. In particular the discovery of individuals with the family name in the 1500's would immediately require that the legend be discarded or modified significantly. The existence of sizeable Vyborny families in the middle 1600's would also do the same.

Although parish information in Bohemia regarding families generally does not predate the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), written histories or traditions might still be available that could shed light on this issue. Information regarding Cernik's or Cerny's in the Kutna Hora region would be of particular interest, including any possibly heroic Cernik's as may be implied by the Bessie Vyborny recollections.

Frydrich Vyborny as Forefather

Frydrich(*1645/9) Vyborny is the first family member who is clearly part of the historical record. Frydrich had at least eight sons from whom Josef(*1864) Vyborny believed that all Vyborny's were possibly descended. Certainly this was true for the family lines near Kutna Hora that Josef had studied in great detail.

No other Vyborny ancestors of Frydrich's generation have been identified to date by the authors. Josef's supposition may therefore be correct although, given the large families of the time, it might be unusual for Vyborny/Cernik(Cerny) to have only one son. Available baptism records for Frydrich's children do not list other Vyborny's as godparents, although this may have been the custom of the period. An unusual aspect of Frydrich's family is that his children were born over a large span of time, possibly indicating that he was widowed at least once. Such a large family with members of disparate ages might reasonably become relatively dispersed over time as would be required to explain the distribution of Vyborny families found by Josef(*1864) Vyborny.

The Origins of Certain Vyborny Family Lines

Frydrich Vyborny was born in 1645 or 1649. It is known, however, that there were a large number of Vyborny's in the Havlickuv Brod area by the early 1700's. The very close proximity of Kutna Hora and Havlickuv Brod, along the same main highway that leads to Prague, implies that the families are almost certainly related. However, there may have been too many Vyborny's in Havlickuv Brod too early to be explained by only the descendents of Frydrich Vyborny. The distribution of Vyborny's documented by Josef Vyborny also has a somewhat "bi-lobed" appearance (see the map) with Havlickuv Brod family representing the smaller eastern lobe.

A distribution of Vyborny's in Bohemia, around 1800

A distribution of Vyborny's in the Central - Eastern Bohemia (end of the 18th century).
Click to enlarge the map.

It is possible that the above facts represent indirect evidence for brothers of Frydrich or for additional family members in the Vyborny/Cernik(Cerny) generation who also changed their surname. It is also important to note that not all branches of the family near to Kutna Hora can be traced with certainty to Frydrich. One potential example is the Vyborny family of Chlumec.

Evidence that Frydrich(*1649) was a member of a larger family has recently been deduced. There probably existed three persons having the same name Martin Vyborny living at approximately the same time (1700 to 1715). They were members of three different family branches: of Kresetice region, of Nemecky (Havlickuv) Brod region and of Vapenny Podol region. Only one is known to be Frydrich's son.

Request for Information

Family members having information about the early origins of their branches of the family are urged to contact the site. Genealogists or historians with potential information are also asked to contact us. Research proposals by genealogists or historians will be considered.

Jiri Vyborny's comments regarding points of interest and hypotheses concerning the origin of the surname Vyborny here.
Tremosnice locality Family member Dr.Jan Masek recently found information (so far in Czech only) referring to the historical village named Weyborna. It was situated at the locality of the present town Tremosnice not far from Hermanuv Mestec, Caslav and Havlickuv Brod. See also the webpage http://secky.wz.cz/sec.htm (its archive here).

Fate of the Surname

Those who study such things will tell you that, over time, common surnames tend to become more common while uncommon surnames tend to disappear. The Vyborny name, together with its alternate spellings, exists presently among enough individuals as to be relatively impervious to any sudden decline or rapid extinction. It should be noted though that birth rates are now much less than they once were with small families becoming the norm rather than the exception. For example, the population in the Czech lands will likely show only a minimal increase, if any, during the next 50 years. This makes it very difficult to predict the ultimate fate of the surname especially over large numbers of generations. As birth rates decline, however, less common surnames do become more susceptible to chance occurrences and fluctuations. It is nevertheless still very likely that individuals with the Vyborny surname will be here twenty generations from now with a good chance that represenatives will be present to welcome the fourth millenium.

Fate of Vyborny Descendents

Most living Vyborny family members are now in the tenth through twelfth generations after Vyborny/Cernik. After eleven generations, for example, it can be estimated that only one in one thousand descendents of an original patriarch will still bear his last name. From this simple proportion it is easy to estimate that there are may be at least one hundred thousand descendents of the original Vyborny family of eastern Bohemia. They are now dispersed throughout the world and their numbers will surely increase over the centuries. It is therefore nearly certain that Vyborny descendents will be among those who share man's ultimate fate on the planet.


Contact: cv@vyborny.com

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Last updated: Jan 23, 2005