Family History Research

NGS HSC Lesson 11

Did you hear me cheering in Chicago this morning? I finished Lesson 11 on migration and census analysis! Whew! That lesson took many hours to complete because I had to do a transcription of roughly 100 people on two censuses that included my ancestor. After I sent the boys off to school today (another cheer moment) I finished the migration portion of the lesson and dropped the entire thing off at the post office.

Four lessons to go and I think my new deadline to complete them will be December 31 rather than April 1 when ProGen ends.

Now, using the census analysis I did for my great-great grandfather Joseph Kokoska, I am going to write an article for the Czech and Slovak American Genealogical Society of Illinois’s Koreny journal. I started writing articles for them at the end of 2010 and three were printed. Their journal comes out four times a year. I suppose my unofficial goal is to appear in at least two of their journals a year. One of the members told me my last article on Robert Brouk was very interesting and one of his neighbors actually dated Robert way back in the day. How cool! Nice to know someone is reading my stuff too.

Stay tuned as I continue down the NGS HSC path. The end is in sight!

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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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Lesson 6 of NGS HSC

Antonia and Josef Subrt in Bohemian National Cemetery, Chicago

Wednesday was a whirlwind day of genealogy research and travel all over Chicagoland. I started my day at Bohemian National Cemetery and looked up some graves for a couple of clients. One client’s family was buried in Section 15. I knew I had family there but couldn’t remember who off the top of my head until I walked in one corner of the section and there were my great grandparents, Anna and Frank Brouk. Said good morning to them and walked on looking for the client’s family.

Passed by my great great grandparents Josef and Antonia Subrt and a few cousins from the Vit, Kratky and Oul/Aul families. At the opposite end of the section from my Brouk family were the client’s family.

My next stop was across the street at IRAD. Did you know the meters there are 30 minutes only? Yep! Thankfully I had a list of two marriage certificates I wanted and knew I needed a couple examples of 1871-ish licenses for my NGS HSC assignment. The IRAD intern was almost 10 minutes late, leaving me 20 minutes to finish, pay for my copies and run back to the car. I did it! Gave the intern the dates and numbers of the certificates and he quickly pulled the films. I asked for a roll with 1871-ish certificates and he gave me that as well.

Now all that is left to do is scan in those licenses I copied and finish my assignment. I hope to accomplish this tonight or tomorrow morning. Once I submit it I will have five lessons to go!  Progress is exciting!

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Military Monday – NGS HSC Lesson 14

I continue to work my way through the graded version of the NGS Home Study Course and am getting closer to reaching my goal of completing it by April 1, 2012. ProGen ends in April and my plan is to finish both and begin focusing on certification.

Today I submitted Lesson 14 on Military Records. I learned some new things about pre-Civil War records which is very helpful considering my newest clients have families that go back that far.

My assignments were to first choose one of my grandfathers and create a list of all wars he could have participated in during his lifetime. Then list all his known male ancestors and the wars they may have participated in during their lifetimes starting with the Revolutionary War and working forward. That part of my assignment was super short. My grandfather on my mom’s side was an immigrant and didn’t serve. I didn’t even list him. I listed my paternal grandfather who was a first generation Bohemian-American. He served in World War II in the Naval Armed Guard. His father was the immigrant and could have served in World War I. End of assignment one.  I have pretty short roots on most of my lines here in America.

Assignment two allowed me to compare and contrast a World War I Draft Registration Card to a World War II Card. I used my great grandfather, Joseph Kokoska for this assignment. The one big informational difference between the two cards was his address. Pretty much everything else, even his occupation and place of employment remained the same.

At this point I have six lessons left to complete. Lesson 6 on marriage and Lesson 10 on local land records I will partially finish next week and read those lessons. I need to visit repositories to complete one section of each lesson and will do that so I can submit both lessons by September 5 before I go to FGS.

I’m still transcribing the 1910 U.S. Census for Joseph Kokoska for lesson 11 and that is only one part of that assignment. My goal is to finish that by October 1 along with Lesson 7, Church Records.

Lesson 15, Kinship will take a while so my goal is December 1 submission. Then when I receive the word it is complete I’ll start Lesson 16, Biography which I plan to finish by April 1. If I reach my goal it will have taken me almost a year and a half to work through all three CDs.  Gosh time flies when you are having fun!

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