Family History Research

Follow Friday – Chicago Related Posts

I found a couple of blog posts this week Chicago researchers should read. I hope you enjoy them!

Harold Henderson’s Midwestern Microhistory’s site: Good News For Chicago Genealogists

Cyndy Richardson’s ChicagoGenealogy: Research Insights from Study and Serendipity: What If You Could Read 50,000 Foreign Language Articles from Chicago Newspapers in English? You Can!

 

Enjoy! And, my new series Branching Out Kids’ Genealogy textbooks are on sale today!

 

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Madness Monday – Those Ancestry Leaves

If you follow me on Twitter @jencoffeelover, you may have seen my rant last week about those Ancestry.com leaves and people merging stuff into their trees. Let me explain.

My Holik ancestors came to Chicago from Senetin, Bohemia. They all came to Chicago and appear based on all the records I have found, to not have lived anywhere in between once they got off the ship. Their ship logs all indicated another member of the family as the person in the U.S. they were meeting. For pretty much all the kids that immigrated, Frantisek Holik, their father in Senetin or Anna Holik, their mother in Senetin, was listed as the closest relative in the old country.

I found a tree on Ancestry.com where a woman had merged all my Holik stuff into her tree for a Marie Holek. Names and birth years were close so it must be right? Right?

She took my Marie Holik, sister to my great grandfather John, as hers. She merged in records for that Marie and my great great grandmother Marie Rataj Holik into her Marie.

Now it appears her Marie was born around 1890 and probably lived in Ohio. The records for her husband Jan V* show him in Ohio. BUT her son was born when she was four years old and her grandson was born before her. So I have no idea what her real birth date is, or for her descendants either. But Ancestry showed this person all these pretty leaves so it all was merged into her tree.

Let’s look at what she merged and why I can tell you these are not the same Marie’s.

1890    Birth in Czechoslovakia

Sources: 1910 Federal Census (Chicago); 1920 Federal Censuses (Chicago and Ohio); 1930 Censuses (Chicago and Ohio); New York Passenger List for my Marie Holik.

 1906    Arrival

Source: 1920 Federal Census (Chicago) for Marie Holik born 1883. This is my Marie Holik’s sister in-law Marie nee Rataj Holik.

 28 Apr 1909    Arrival          

Source: New York Passenger Lists for my Mary Holik.

 1909    Arrival       

Source: 1910 Federal Census for my Marie Holik in Chicago.

 1910    Arrival    

Source: 1920 Federal Census Ohio.

 1910    Residence Chicago Ward 34, Cook, Illinois   

Source: 1910 Federal Census for my Marie Holik in Chicago.

 1920    Residence Gorham, Fulton, Ohio    

Source: 1920 Federal Census Ohio

 1920    Residence Chicago Ward 34, Cook, Illinois   

Source: 1920 Federal Census Chicago for for Marie Holik born 1883. This is my Marie Holik’s sister in-law Marie nee Rataj Holik.

 1930    Residence Chicago, Cook, Illinois       

Source: 1930 Federal Census for a Mary Holik married to a J. Frank Holik. These people are not in my tree.

1930    Residence Richland, Defiance, Ohio. This fact is in her profile twice.

Source: 1930 Federal Census

 4 Mar 1944      Death Chicago, Cook, Illinois           

Source: Cook County, Illinois Death Index 1908-1988 for Marie Holik Kratchovil. My Marie.

Can you see why it is difficult to even know what information is accurate for this Marie Holek in this tree?

Moral of this story is – just because Ancestry shows you all those pretty leaves doesn’t mean those records belong to your person. They are possible matches but it is up to you, the human, to evaluate the information in the record being suggested.

Have you run into this in your research? Tell us about it in the comments.

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Surname Saturday – Novak

I just wrote a post about a book I finished called Journey A Novel of America by James M. Vesely on my Chicago Family History blog. Please stop by and read it.

If you know of other books about the Czechs immigrating to the U.S. and specifically their experiences in Chicago, please post titles and authors in the comments. Vesely’s book is historical fiction but the experiences of the Novak family were similar to those I have read in non-fiction books. Most of us will never know exactly what our immigrants experienced but great books like this shed a little light on the topic.

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Chicago and Surrounding Area Professional Genealogy Services

My friend Thomas MacEntee over at Geneabloggers suggested a couple of weeks ago that I join Ancestry.com’s Expert Connect. Well I waited because I had so many other things on my to-do list and now Ancestry has shut their Expert Connect down.

If you are looking for a Chicago area, which also includes Indiana, Wisconsin, and Missouri, researcher, I’m happy to help!

I provide:

In-depth Research Services

I conduct repository-based research; online research; and cemetery research.

Look-up Research Services

Just need a document or information or photos from a cemetery? I also conduct research in Northern Illinois for specific document searches such as Death Certificates, Census, Obituaries, etc., searches for a fee for each document plus postage.  I will do cemetery look ups and email you digital photos. If plot layouts are requested, I will mail those to you. Contact me for a list of individual services and fees.

Writing

I prepare research reports; lineage society reports; blog, newsletter and magazine articles.

I am located in the Chicago suburbs and have access to many wonderful research facilities such as:

  • National Archives, Great Lakes Region
  • Harold Washington Library
  • Newberry Library
  • Chicago Historical Society
  • Cook County Governmental Offices
  • Illinois Regional Archives Depositories, statewide
  • Illinois State Archives
  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
  • Area Cemeteries

I am also able to conduct research in neighboring states, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Indiana.

For more information about rates and services, please contact me.

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