Family History Research

Madness Monday – A Giant To-Do List!

This morning I am working on the update to my client’s Research Report to ensure I have included everything discovered to this point so I can print notes to take on my research trip tomorrow.  I also want to ensure every piece of evidence I have collected is documented in the report. This process seems to have taken me forever but the more reports I write, the easier this will become.

I made a call to IRAD at ISU (Illinois Regional Archives Depository) to request the remaining records for two Probate files I requested a few weeks ago. They sent me a few pages but not the entire file for either person. I now have to wait a couple of more weeks to get those copies and evaluate the evidence.

I am working on another tip sheet for my business which I plan to finish, publish and post later this week.

And finally, I need to call National Archives in Chicago to make a reservation to meet with an Archivist later this week to discuss World War I Textual Reference Papers. I hope they are able to help me because a fellow ProGenner is in Chicago this week to research at NARA and we are hoping to meet for lunch.  ProGen begins Wednesday and with our get to know you discussion Thursday evening. I can’t wait!

To everyone working on their To-Do list, I wish you well. Have a wonderful day!

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Madness Monday – Off to the Races!

My post this morning is not about my ancestors, but my current history. Today is the first day of school for my three boys. YEAH!! We will take the back to school day photo in front of the house next to the door so we can see how tall they have grown since last year. Send them on their way for the half day of school. Go up to school a little later to meet the teachers and see the kids “round up” behind the school for the annual back to school welcome. It is a great day and the weather is perfect. This afternoon maybe we will all hit a movie and say our final good byes to summer because tomorrow is a full day of school.

And while my boys are “off to the races” with school, I will be working on my current history and catching up on my scrapbooking, continuing to track down the ghosts of my past, and start the ProGen 10 Study Group. Our first online chat is next Thursday evening and I get to meet the others in my group.

Don’t forget to stay up to date with your current family history while chasing the past. I think it is going to be a great year!

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Madness Monday – The Lithuanian Side of the Family

In a few days I am taking a class at the Newberry Library and wanted to stick around afterward and do a little research. I started updating my research files and began focusing on my husband’s Lithuanian side of the family. I remembered why I don’t spend too much time on them. They are so difficult to trace! I have had more success with my Czech side and Brian’s Italian side.

This is what I am facing:

Alexander Urban b. 1874 d. 1917 married Vincenta Norushas (Norkus?). The family told me Norkus was her maiden name. Yet I found her obituary this weekend which stated Norushas was her maiden name. Does Norkus=Norushas? I understand how the Czechs change the spelling of the woman’s last name after marriage but I am completely unfamiliar with the way the Lithuanians do this.  I cannot locate a ship log for her. I cannot locate a marriage license for her marriage to Alexander or her second husband Vincent William Tatarelis.

Then there are the Kaminski/Kaminsky/Kaminskai and Yasulis branches of the family. Anton Kaminski m. Veronica Yasulis. I have a ship log for both, who arrived separately. I am certain Anton’s log is his because he lists his brother in -law Yurgis Yasulis at 4409 S. Wood Street, Chicago as his contact. I cannot find anything on Yurgis beyond that. I looked at Behind the Name to see if Yurgis became John or another Americanized name. I found Yurgis could be Jurgis. Still, I cannot find anything on Yurgis beyond the ship log and the family stayed in the home after arrival for many years.

Finding Declaration and Naturalization information for Anton has been difficult too. I have searched IRAD with no luck. I keep checking the Cook County Declaration Database for various spellings (this is an ongoing project for the county). And of course the various Census records show him being either seven, five, or four years older than Veronica which makes his year of birth anywhere from 1873 to 1882. His grave says 1873 so my searches typically start there with a +2 or +5 difference to search.

If you have done Lithuanian research, I would love to hear your tips and suggestions. Have you searched something I should avoid because it is a time waster? Did you find a fabulous source? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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Women and the Naturalization Process

This week I came across a Naturalization Record Index Card for my husband’s great grandmother, Rose La Mantia Murabito. It stated she was repatriated. This confused me a great deal because she was born in Chicago, which is in the United States last I checked. I doubled checked her birth certificate to make sure I had it and it was her. It was. So why in 1939 was Rose being repatriated?

A kind blog reader commented on my post regarding this issue and sent me to a website regarding loss of citizenship due to marriage. This thought crossed my mind before I wrote the post but I could not locate anything specific on this. When researching both my lines and my husband’s, I suppose I just assumed all of the women in our direct lines became citizens. It never occurred to me that one of the women in my tree would have lost her citizenship until I found this index card. Due to this discovery, I took a closer look at my direct lines. Rose was the only woman on either side that was born in the U.S. but married an Alien after 1907. The rest of the women were either married upon arrival; married an Alien after arrival and was naturalized with him; or obtained naturalization on her own.

Today as I dig further into the Naturalization process and the information I thought to be correct, until this case arose, I am learning a lot about the changes in laws. KindredConnections has a fantastic article on the Naturalization Process called “Where are they? Finding Your Ancestors’ US Naturalization Records.”  In the article’s section about Women, the author, Karen Clifford, states, “An act passed in 1907 stated that a woman’s nationality depended entirely on her husband’s. This meant that if her husband gained citizenship, so did she. It also meant that if a woman who had been born a US citizen married an alien, she lost her citizenship. She could repatriate only if and when her husband naturalized.”

That completely explains Rose’s case. Isn’t it funny that I have read many articles on Naturalization and listened to speakers, yet never heard or saw this tidbit of information? I guess it is a good example of having blinders on and only seeing or hearing what we need at the time for the research we are doing.

Another great resource I discovered is from the National Archives. There is an informative article on their website from the Prologue Magazine, Summer 1998, Vol. 30, No. 2, called “Any woman who is now or may hereafter be married . . .” Women and Naturalization, ca. 1802-1940 By Marian L. Smith

If you have other great Naturalization Process websites, please post them in the comments section.