Hello! I have moved my blog to a Wordpress site Chicago Family History. You can now view it here. I'll be moving posts over as time permits but all new postings will be there.
I'm working on a post for my Family History Research Tips blog by using a paper I wrote for my Chicago Women's History grad class 11 years ago. I adapted the paper to become a presentation with handouts for the Chicago Genealogy Society shortly thereafter. I thought this paper would be a great addition to my blog about researching women and their stories.
As I begin to retype the paper I realize a lot of the information I provided on my family such as dates and places of events in their lives is not exactly the same information I have today. What a difference 11 years can make on a person's life story as we locate new records and solve mysteries we could not in the past.
I had to laugh a little at the "errors" in this paper but also felt great pride in all that I have accomplished in my research since that time. I guess this is a good reminder for me to go back through any old articles and stories I have written and see how many "errors" exist.
Last month I drove from Chicago, IL to Rolla, MO to spend the weekend with my best friend. I made a stop in Springfield, IL on my way down to pick up some death certificates at the Illinois State Archives and some newspaper articles at the Abraham Lincoln Library. It was a successful two hour stop on my drive down.
First let me say, I only visit the Illinois State Archives once or twice a year when I get together with my best friend. I arrive in Springfield by 8 a.m. so I can be at the Archives when they open. There has never been anyone else there to research but me. Kind of nice and super quiet. I am able to get in and out in about an hour and come home with several new death certificates. The staff is very helpful and I really enjoy going there.
After my death certificate search, I headed to the Abe Lincoln Library to look at newspaper microfilm. I'm writing a book about my cousin Robert Brouk, who was a Flying Tiger in 1941-1942. I needed to get some articles from the Herald-American newspaper. Again, I was the only person in the newspaper room. The woman working there was very kind and helpful and I had no issues with the machines. I found what I needed and was in and out within an hour.
If you have Illinois research to conduct do check out the State Archives and Lincoln Library. There are so many resources available there and they seem to be very underused.
Do you have relatives buried overseas in an
I sent an email to the ABMC asking for a photo of my cousin, James Privoznik’s grave. He died January 11, 1945 in
The main page has links and videos on current projects and information you should know. It also contains links to their Cemeteries, Memorials, Services Available, Commemorative Events and more.
This is a beautiful website that honors our fallen service men and women. Please take some time to explore it and remember those who served our country.
I was a child born in the early 1970's. I lived the first five years of my life in Downers Grove, a suburb of Chicago, until my parents decided a move to the country would be good for the family and we moved to southwest Missouri. My parents were born in Chicago and as their families gradually moved into the burbs, became Cicero, Berwyn, Stickney area residents. The neighborhood of the Bohemians. 22nd Street. The Czech Bakeries, Butchers, stores. They lived in a time when grandma and grandpa lived across the alley. When children were allowed to play in the street and the parents didn't need to worry about them. A time when the families would get together often for meals, music, laughter. A time when the grandmas were always baking yummy kolacky, houska, and other goodies for the family. Where dumplings, roast pork and sauerkraut were common meals in the Czech house. No, I didn't live in this neighborhood as a child, but I was fortunate enough to experience some of it because my grandmother's lived in this neighborhood. And, I had my parents, aunts, and uncles, to tell me lots of stories about growing up in the neighborhood.
Neighborhood is about Cicero, Berwyn, Stickney in the 1940's to the late 1980's. In Blei's book you will read about the old 22nd Street/Cermak Road. You will read about games the children used to play; learn about the Sokol; the Houby Hunt; and playing the horses. You will meet people like Shorty the Locksmith; Doc Cermak; and the Polka King: Frankie Yankovic. If you lived in this neighborhood or visited often enough, you just might recognize many of the people, places and things, Blei describes in his book.
I moved back to the Chicago area in 1999 and lived in Riverside for a year. One of the first things I did upon my return was to go to Home Run Inn Pizza on 31st for my favorite sausage and mushroom pizza, and of course, bring bakery home from Vesecky's. Salty horns, rye bread, and kolacky. Delicious. Just thinking about the bakery now, I can almost taste it. If you read Neighborhood by Norbert Blei and the chapter called The Bakery, you will be able to smell and taste the bakery as you read. I smiled and felt so full of life and fortunate to be living where I was, as I read that chapter, sitting outside the library in Riverside, eating my kolacky the first week I was back. Happy times.
Many of the places Blei describes in his book are long gone, but the memories remain for those who lived there and those who were fortunate enough to visit and experience the Czech Neighborhood. If you want a taste of what this neighborhood was like between the 1940's and 1980's, please read Neighborhood.
The following is a list of my Chicago Ancestors broken out by country of origin.
As I continue to not only look backwards and record the history of my ancestors, I also try to stay in the present time and record my family's history as it is happening. This is a photo of my husband, an almost eight year Testicular Cancer Survivor walking the Survivor Lap at our local Relay For Life in June 11, with one of our twins.
Brian began his battle with cancer September 2002 when our oldest child was just a year and a half old. He fought through two surgeries and chemo and began recovery mid-January 2003. In 2004 we began the long, emotional, horrible process of IVF to try to give our son a sibling. After a lot of heartache, we finally conceived twins just before Christmas 2004. Brian had another surgery to remove a spot on his lung in April 2005 and in August our twins were born.
While this is the very brief story of Brian's cancer and our IVF experience, the entire thing is documented in scrapbooks complete with photos of Brian going through cancer, going bald, recovering, his story as a survivor written out in the book, mine as a caregiver written out in the book, ultrasounds of babies we conceived during IVF that we later lost, the entire story I wrote going through it, and finally our twins.
Life isn't always pretty, happy, and clean. It gets nasty, messy, and very emotional. I think it is important to not only document those happy times in life, but also the ones that really test us. These are the stories that give our life more color and will illustrate for our descendants the kind of person we were and the life we lived.
I just stumbled upon a mind boggler and I'm hoping someone can help me understand what is going on here. I was on Ancestry.com looking at my tree and pulled up Rose La Mantia Murabito. She had a hint for a historical record. The record is a Naturalization document index card. Stamped on the card it says REPATRIATED.
Here is the puzzling thing, Rose was born in Chicago on March 3, 1892. I have a copy of her birth certificate. Yet in 1939 she was repatriated and granted citizenship. She wasn't born in Italy. Her father became a U.S. citizen in 1899 and applied for a passport in 1906. Why was she repatriated? What caused her to lose her U.S. citizenship?
If you have run across this in your research and can shed some light on this, I would appreciate it.
Blogs I Follow
- Near Chicago, Illinois, United States
- Jennifer Holik, is a Professional Genealogist, Instructor, Writer, and owner of Generations, a genealogical research business. She has been researching her family history since 1996, uncovering the life stories of her ancestors. She is the author of two blogs, Chicago Family History and Family History Research and is the author of the book To Soar with Tigers about Flying Tiger, Robert R. Brouk.
- 127th Infantry
- 32nd division
- Abraham Lincoln Library
- Air Force
- American Battle Monuments Commission
- Army Air Force
- back in time
- Berwyn Life
- Birth Certificate
- Bohemian Food
- Bohemian National Cemetery
- Book Bazaar
- Burial File
- Cermak Road
- Chicago wards
- City Directory
- death certificate
- Declaration of Intention
- Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories
- family history
- Family History Research Tips
- family tree
- Flying Tigers
- Follow Friday
- grave preservation
- Great Chicago Fire
- Great White City
- Hawthorne Works
- Illinois Newspaper Project
- Illinois State Archives
- La Mantia
- Madness Monday
- Morton College
- Naval Armed Guard
- Norbert Blei
- Relay For Life
- S.S. Henry Durant
- S.S. Joshua Hendy
- S.S. Sea Quail
- Springfield IL
- St. Casimir's Cemetery
- St. Thomas USVI
- Street Names
- Testicular cancer
- Treasure chest Thursday
- Vesecky's Bakery
- Western Electric
- World War I
- World War II
- World's Colubmian Exposition