Genealogy Page

Bodlak family photos Sawyer/Lyon & Sanford/Rich photos

~ BODLAK/LYON Family Tree ~
Heather Ruth Waters Bodlak
born August 15, 1973
San Luis Obispo, California
Mara Lea Sanford Bodlak
born September 20, 1974
San Luis Obispo, California


David Bertolin Bodlak
born March 2, 1936
San Francisco, California
m. Sara (Sally Jane Sawyer) born July 14, 1942, Chicago, Illinois.
Married Sept. 6, 1972 in San Francisco, CA.


Bertolin Bodlak, b. Nov. 1, 1895
died October, 1974, Saint Paul, Minnesota


Emma Catherine Trenda, b. Nov. 25, 1900
died July, 1957, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Great Grandparents:
John Bodlak, born August 2, 1850 in Domasine, Kraji Jihlava, Morava, Czech Republic
died 1939 in Saint Paul, Minn.
married Antonie Junek, b. June 13, 1858, in Rohozné, Kraji Pejremov, Czech Republic
died 1926 in Saint Paul, Minn.

Frank Trenda, born 1860
Prague, Czech Republic
died in Minn.
married Antonia Kalina, b. 1864
Prague, Czech Republic
died 1955 in Saint Paul, Minn.

Great Great Grandparents:
(Czech Republic)
Jon Bodlak and Martina Kovana Domasina (Bodlakova)
?Junek and Tomasa Talpa (Junekova)
Mike Trenda and Josephine (Trendova)
Frank Kalina and (Kalinova)

About David's Grandparents:

John Bodlak was born August 2, 1850 in Domasine, Kraji Jihlava, Morava, Czech Republic. John immigrated from "Czechoslovakia" about 1870 with his sister, Rozalie Bodlakova. He and his wife, Antonie, came to Saint Paul, Minn. in 1880.  John (or "Jan" as it was written on his Czech birth certificate)  became a US citizen in 1889.  A metalsmith and inventor, he raised his family on his own farm in Saint Paul which he bought using the stipend given him by the Railroad for one of his inventions. He was known as "Papa John" to his 5 children and many grandchildren.  John died on the Bodlak Homestead, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA, in 1939.

Antonie Junek was born June 13, 1858, in Rohozné, Kraji Pejremov, Czech Republic. When she and John came to Saint Paul, they first lived at 355 Emma Street. Later, they bought a farm on which they raised their 5 children. She died in 1926 on the Bodlak Homestead at 239 Colborne Street in Saint Paul, MN, USA.

"The Lyoness and The Thistle"

David Bertolin Bodlak's Aunt Liz (his Father Bert's older sister) told David as a child of a Bodlak Family "Tradition". She explained that in the 13th or 14th century, our Czech ancestors were mercenaries who fought for a "Lord" in Scotland. (Could it have been a Lord Lyon?) They won a battle for him because thistles in a field near the castle routed the enemy as it approached to attack. Our Bodlak Ancestors were rewarded (perhaps with wives) for defeating the Scottish Lord's enemies. The story goes that upon their return to their homeland, "Czechoslovakia", they proudly chose "Bodlak" for their family name since bodlak means "Flower of the Thistle" in the Czech language. They made a coat of arms for the family which included their ships as well as thistle flowers in its design. The thistle flower was both a symbol of Scotland and of their own great adventure. (It was in honor of this "family tradition", that David invited a "bag piper" from Scotland to play for his wedding on the hill above the Cliff House in San Francisco.)

An interesting aspect of the Lyon Crest is that the girl is holding a flower of the thistle which is the meaning of "BODLAK" in Czech.


~ LYON Lineage ~

Emma, Noah and William Brown; David Francisco and Carlos Adrián Cancela Bodlak (32)
Heather Bodlak de Cancela and Mara Lea Brown (31)
Sara (Sally) Jane Sawyer (30)... Mrs. David Bertolin Bodlak...,
Frank Waters Sawyer (29)
Laura Jane Lyon (28)... Mrs. Lea Halstead Sawyer...,
Charles T. F. Lyon (27)
Marcus (26), Ezra (25), Ezra (24), Aaron (23),
Wm (22)... a founder of Woodstock, Connecticut...
John (21), William Lyon of Roxbury (20)... first Lyon in New World, came from England on "The Good Ship Hopewell" in 1635...

Wm. (19), Wm. (18), John (17), John (16), Henry (15), Henry (14), John (13), Henry (12), John (11), Adam (10), John de Lyon (9), John de Lyoun (8), Pagan (7), John (6), Ernald de Leonibus (5), Hugh (4), Paganus de Leonne (3), Roger de Leonne (2)...

... Roger came to Scotland from Norfolk where his family held grants of land from William Duke of Normandy in recognition of their assistance in seizing the English Throne. Roger assisted Edgar, son of Malcom II, to regain the Scottish Throne by defeating Donald Bane, Edgar's uncle, for which service Edgar granted Roger title to lands in Perthshire, later known as Glen Lyon...

Ingleram de Lyon (Lions) aka Ithleram Louvein (1)*...

There is a Lyon Family tradition which suggests that Ingleram's sister was "The Fair Maid of Brabant", Adelicia, Queen of England, second wife of Henry I "Beauclerc", King of England.

*For further ancestral records going back to Clodius II (Clodie) King of Franks, born ooo6 B.C., I recommend that you go to a LDS Family History Library and check the well documented royal lineage of A. Brabant (Queen of England)... which might be the same as that of her brother, Ingleram, our direct ancestor.

The numbers (1-32) represent the generations of our Lyon Lineage beginning with Ingleram de Lyon coming up to the most recent generation.


~Sawyer and Sanford Ancestors ~
Click on a picture to see it larger

For Emma, Noah, William, David, and Carlos

from Gramma, Sara Jane Sawyer, (Mrs. David B. Bodlak)
born July 14, 1942, Chicago, Illinois

Your Great Grandparents,
My Parents,

Frank Sawyer and Ruth Sanford had a common line of ancestry which I have traced back to Spain.
They both can claim as ancestors Saint Ferdinand (King of Castile, 1217- 1252 and King of León, 1230-1252), and his daughter:

Eleanor of Castile who married "Longshanks", Edward the First, King of England (1272 - 1307).

It is unusual to have two lines of ancestry, as you do,
which can be traced back this far to the same people.

You are fortunate because their lines have been traced back very far by respected authorities.

So you can know more about your ancestors going way back in Western European History.

This should make studying history even more interesting and relevant to you. I know that it has worked that way for me.

Frank Waters Sawyer, your Great Grandfather,
born Jan. 27, 1910 in Chicago, Illinois,
and Ruth Helen Sanford, your Great Grandmother,
born February 7, 1915, in Valparaiso, Indiana,

traced their genealogy back to many early settlers of The USA,

Frank's included William Lyon of Roxbury, (who worked with John Elliot
who was known for his tireless work to help the Indians),
William Lyon , a founder of Woodstock, Connecticut, Tom Sawyer and his wife Mary Prescott, founders of Lancaster, Mass., and Edward Sawyer a founder of Hebron, Connecticut.

Some of Frank's ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War.
Frank Sawyer's father, your Great Great Grandfather, Lea Halstead Sawyer, was a member of the "Sons of the American Revolution".

Among your Great Grandmother Ruth Sanford's important early American ancestors were General Sedgwick and Rev. Samuel Stone (who, with Rev. Thomas Hooker, helped found and name Hartford, Connecticut after his "hometown" in England).

Samuel Stone was born in 1602 in Hertford, England.

One of Frank's ancestors who fought in the Revolution was named Platt Rogers. Samuel Stone's mother was Sara Rogers, born 1577 in Hertford, England.

It is the Rogers line that takes us back to Reverend John Rogers (Sara Rogers' Grandfather, the first common ancestor of both Frank and Ruth) who was an important Protestant in England (the first to be martyred by Bloody Mary in England in 1555).

This Rev. Rogers, was a direct descendant of "Longshanks".

At the Family History Library in Manchester, Connecticut, I typed in Samuel Stone's daughter's name, Elizabeth Stone (which I have verified as our ancestor by way of research done by my Aunt, Mary Sanford, who was a member of the Daughters of The American Revolution).

I received verification that Elizabeth Stone, born 1644 in Hartford. Connecticut was a direct descendant of Reverend John Rogers, Born Feb. 4, 1507, Diterend, Eng.

This was the beginning of the research which led me to discover our Spanish ancestors and many more. I have tomes of research, including old family bibles, DAR research, letters from fellow genealogists and distant cousins, and more.

I hope all of this effort I and others have put forth to maintain a connection with our ancestors will help to make the study of history a pleasure for you.

History, after all is the memory..."

"A knowledge of history is more than a means of judgment: It is also a means of sympathy--a means of relating our own experience with the experience of other peoples ....
A knowledge of history is, in addition, a means of strength. 'In times of change and danger,' John Dos Passos wrote,

'when there is a quicksand of fear under men's reasoning, a sense of continuity with generations gone before can stretch like a life line across the scary present. 'With such knowledge, one is no longer alone but draws a strength far greater than his own from the cumulative experience of the past and a cumulative vision of the future."

-- John F. Kennedy 1917-1963