Family History Research

Wisdom Wednesday – May ProGen Update

Another month down in the 18 of ProGen Group 10.  In April we worked on transcriptions and abstracts. I used the will of a woman named Dorota Zajicek. When I got this probate file at the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Archives I barely flipped through it before I started copying it. First of all after I read the will I realized this was not MY Dorota Zajicek. This woman was loaded! Mine was not. I copied the file anyway in case this family connected to mine at some point.  I transcribed the will and created my abstract.

This month we are using those transcripts to work on Certification and Accreditation by creating a research focus, analysis of data and forming a research plan. All things you would do if you were applying for BCG certification.

I worked on my assignment this morning and finished it. Will post it to the ProGen group this weekend. First need to get through our chat Thursday night for our April assignments.

Next month we are discussing Elizabeth Shown Mills’s Evidence Explained Chapter 1. Stay tuned for an update then.

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A 1930 Funeral Bill

I received some Probate records this week for two men in my family. One set was from 1924 and the other 1930. Both are very interesting reading. I have no funeral bills from 2010 to compare to this, but I thought I would share how much each item cost. This was an itemized list in the Probate file.

H. Marik and Sons, Funeral Directors and Embalmers

2544 So. Crawford Avenue Telephone Lawndale 3972  Auto Livery

11 April  1930

  • Casket  $175
  • Suit $28
  • Embalming and Candles $30
  • Underwear and hose $1.60
  • Hearse to Bohemian National Cemetery $21
  • 5 Limosines $90
  • 1 Flower Car $18
  • Removal from Cook County Hospital $10
  • Death Notice Hlasatel $10
  • Load of Palms $10
  • Opening Grave Elevate Grave Box $23.50
  • Certified Copy $2
  • Speaker Weidner $10
  • Card of Thanks Hlasatel $6

Total Funeral Bill: $435.10

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Thursday Research Trip

Today I took the train into the city and headed to Daley Plaza to research Probate and Naturalization records in the Archives Room of the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court . I requested several Probate records and now have to wait (patiently) for them to be retrieved from the storage so I can view them. In a week or so I will trek back to the city to view those records. I also got copies of a few Naturalization records.

The one thing I learned about visiting the Archives Room 1113 in Daley Plaza is you must get there at 8:30 when they open. There were only two women working the front of the office and both also answered the phones in addition to helping walk-in customers. It did get busier while I was there and one of the women seemed to get a little testy because there were several of us to assist, but when others cleared out, it was fine. A smile and thank you, repeated several times during the record retrieval process, goes a long way.

After my records searched I hiked to Panera across from the Harold Washington Library to meet Thomas MacEntee of The Connected Genealogist and GeneaBloggers to name a few. We had a very nice chat over coffee and then went across the street to the library. I was even given one of his MEET*MEME Trading Cards! If you haven’t seen those on his blog, check them out. Very cool! I may have to get some for myself after seeing his! Thanks for the nice visit Thomas!!

On my way home, just as I was about to get off the train, I got a phone call from a local library about possibly teaching genealogy classes next year. Add that to my to-do list for a return phone call. It was a great day!

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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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