The links that Zlatica listed are very good. In the last one, there is one statement that might not apply; the author states that the ancestors were simple peasants. My family experience is that many of the people who came over here were literate. The letters sent here are fairly legible. My impression is that the really poor didn't have enough resources to leave. For the lower middle class who did leave, the driving force was freedom, and the potential to own land or a business. In my family, at least two great grandfathers who would have inherited the property sold out and immigrated. One was supposedly the son of the mayor of the village.
By the time your family came over in late 1800s, migration had been going on for 20 years. That's nearly a whole generation. Things were pretty stable, so the uncertainty was certainly less than for the early migrants.
So we invite you to tell us a bit about your family, i.e. names and locations, and who knows, you might team up with someone researching the same area.
Mary Sramek Levesque
Areas being researched:
Dolni Loucky, Moravia