Family History Research

Madness Monday – Preparing for another research trip

My Madness Monday for this week really isn’t a brick wall I can’t climb over, just the “I just came back from a research trip and am going on two more in the next week” feeling. LOL! Yesterday I went through everything from my trip to Springfield, sorted out death certificates I looked up for other people so I can get those off, went through my lists so I am ready the next time I can get down there, and started working on my list for Friday.

Friday I am going into the city to look at Cook County Probate and Naturalization records at the Daley Building, then over to the Harold Washington Library to do ??? That is my goal today, figure out what they have there that I need. I also plan to get a reciprocal library card so I an access their databases from home. Did you know if you live in the Chicago area there is a list of libraries that participate? Just check out a Chicago Public Library’s website.

After that I may just run around downtown a little enjoying the sites, the sounds, the energy of the city before heading home. I might even do a little cemetery  hopping on the way home if I leave the city early enough.

A week from today I am thinking about heading to the National Archives to look up any Naturalizations I cannot get at the County office and look into their World War I Textual references. I understand they have information on men who were drafted and I am trying to find information on two of Michael Kokoska’s brothers who served stateside during the War. That would be very useful information for my Narrative Lineage for my Certification.

And the last thing on my list is to come up with a schedule for myself to complete parts of the Certification, finish my book on Robert Brouk, fit in the ProGen Study Group that I hope to start September 1, and take on a few clients for my new Genealogy Business.  Yes, I am launching my new business, GENERATIONS. I will have a website soon, and hope to pick up a few clients before the year ends.

All of that probably qualifies this for a Madness Monday! But it is going to be great fun and I am sure to learn a lot!

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Cemetery and IRAD Research Trip

Yesterday I had the most wonderful day with my 9 year old son Drew. We got up early and hit the road to drive into the city. Our first stop was St. Adalbert’s Cemetery in Niles, IL. That stop was not my most productive cemetery stop ever, but my son learned how to use the Kiosk to look up the graves; use the map to locate a grave; and took some pictures of the grave we found. On our next trip we will get plot layouts to help us locate the few people we did not find.

Our second stop, before it became unbearable outside, was Bohemian National Cemetery. We did not spend much time there as I wanted to get across the street to Northeastern Illinois University to IRAD. We were able to get the location of my grandfather’s niche in the Chapel and Drew saw that. Then we visited the grave of my Uncle Richard Holik. He passed away in 2007 and I guess I have not been up there since then because I did not have a photo of his grave stone.  We then walked from Rich’s grave to the next section to see Michael Kokoska’s grave. Michael died in France in WWI. Drew knows most of his history and thought it was amazing to see his grave. He has seen it before but now he has more of an appreciation of why I visit the cemeteries and research our family’s history.

Our last stop was IRAD. I prepared for this trip so I could teach Drew how to use the microfilm to look things up and follow the record trail. The one thing I forgot to add to my spreadsheet was the Soundex Codes. Not that it was a big deal, but we had to wait a few minutes while the staff person looked up my codes. Next time I will make sure we don’t waste those few minutes. Drew and I looked up Naturalization records for a couple hours and had some success. Then we waded into Probate and Will waters. Not so much success there. The microfilm for the Probate was so fuzzy you could barely make out the numbers. We will have to visit the County Clerk to try their indexes, which will hopefully be better. I think we did find at least two family members who had Probate cases though. That was exciting!

Drew was so great all day, he learned so many new things, and actually WANTS to go on the next research trip! We really bonded yesterday which was nice because he has two younger brothers and sometimes it is difficult to get that one on one time with him.  While I didn’t come home with as much new information as I would have liked, the day was a success and I can’t wait to go with him again.

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Newberry Library Class – Tools for Digging Deeper, Probate & Inquest Records

Saturday I took a class at the Newberry Library, taught by Grace DuMelle, author of Finding Your Chicago Ancestors. It was one in a series of classes called 60 Minutes to Better Genealogy:Tools to Dig Deeper – Probate and Inquest Records.

I have not really looked into Probate records yet because I thought my families were so poor they would not have made a will but Grace gave me information to indicate that they might still have made a will to provide for the children. She gave many examples of records in Cook County related to Probate such as Guardianship records, Wills, Estate documents, she discussed heirship and show many examples of documents. She also told the class how to search the indexes and locate the documents in Cook County. This is now on my to-do list for summer! Get into the Cook County office and look up the case files I need to request, then request and wait for them so I can return to view them. Most records are stored off site so it can take several business days before the cases one wants to view arrive.

Grave also discussed Inquest records. I have a few death certificates that say Inquest or Coroner’s Death Certificate on them, but the Chicago Coroner’s Inquest Records online end before my ancestors died. Grace explained the records from that point on are held at the Cook County Medical Examiners office but because they are so loaded with current cases, you cannot expect a timely response. She suggested if you really want a file, to be in their face about it. Write and call every couple of weeks so you stay in the front of their mind. Their records are held in an off-site warehouse as well and they apparently do not visit the site often to retrieve records.

The Chicago Homicide Index was also discussed, which I know well from my Fortunato Fratto’s murder. I sent a letter to the Chicago Police Department, Records Unit, asking about his case and if it is possible to get copies of his file. We will see what their response is.

Grace also mentioned the Hearst Newspapers in Chicago, which followed murders, fires, etc. I had not heard of them so need to investigate that further.

Many new areas to consider looking for records. Have you had success getting Inquest records from Cook County? What about Police Files?

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Murabito and Microsoft OneNote

Today I am concentrating on my husband’s Italian side of the family. I am using MS OneNote to keep a more detailed research log and have spent the afternoon mapping out my Concetta Murabito against Charles (Cirino) Murabito and the Coco uncles, in Chicago.

I believed I found a ship log for Concetta and the address looked like one for my Cirino. She listed brother Murabito Cirino as the person who paid her passage. Below is how my afternoon was spent mapping things out.  I did find enough evidence to connect her to my family. Success! I exported the OneNote page as an HTML file. The OneNote page below is not as “pretty” as the actual thing but it still works.

Monday, July 05, 2010

3:58 PM

Arrivals

1893 – Salvatore Coco

1902 – Antonio Coco

1903 – Charles Murabito & Sis Rosa

1905 – Concetta Murabito ???? I think this is her.

1909 – Salvatore Murabito

1922 – Josephine

B: 2/14/1882

M: 1/21/1909

D: 10/27/1933

Arrival: 3/30/1903 listed as Cirino Morabito

2117 (?) S. Clark Street, Uncle Antonio Coco

Charles (Cirino) Residences

1909 – Ship Log Brother Salvatore – 203 22nd Street, Chicago, Cook, IL, USA

1910 – Census – 257 W. 23rd Street, Chicago, Cook Co., IL  Ward 4, ED 1580

1918 – Draft reg – 257 W. 23rd Street, Chicago, IL

1920 – Census – 3145 Wentworth Ave, Chicago, Cook Co., IL

1922 – Ship Log Sister Josephine – 3145 Wentworth Ave, Chicago, Cook Co., IL

1930 – Census – 3145 Wentworth Ave, Chicago, Cook Co., IL

Antonio Coco Residences  UNCLE TO CHARLES

1903 – Brother Cirino Ship Log -2117 S. Clark, Chicago, Cook, IL,

1910 – Census – 2416 Wentworth Ave, Chicago, Cook, IL

1920 – Census – 2416 Wentworth Ave, Chicago, Cook, IL

1930 – Census – 5301 S. Richmond, Chicago, Cook, IL

Salvatore Coco Residences  UNCLE TO CHARLES

1900 – 1938 Archer Ave, Chicago

1910 – 268 W. 23rd Street, Chicago   Ward 4, ED 250

Concetta Murabito m. Domenico Grasso 1/2/1910

1911 – Jennie born

6/12/1912 – Salvatore born   307 W. 23rd Street, Chicago

8/2/1912 – Salvatore died

9/28/1913 – Ida born

11/28/1913 – Agatina born  307 W. 23rd Street

1/19/1914 – Ida died   307 W. 23rd Street, Chicago

9/24/1915 – Salvatore Savior born  307 W. 23rd Street, Chicago

8/11/1918 – Tony born   2315 Princeton Ave, Chicago

1920 – Census 2315 Princeton Ave

10/13/1921 – Alfred born  225 W. 23rd Street, Chicago

Cannot locate on 1910 census. Checked Ward 4, ED 250, Ward 4, ED 1580, Ward 4 ED 1613 (go check again)  CHECK 249 – likely in there

Created with Microsoft OneNote 2010
One place for all your notes and information

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