Ancestral Journeys

Genealogical research and thoughts

Julia Cerny

Posted by dwsuddarth on 10 July 2016

Joseph E. Murray Julia Cerny Photo

A photo of my great grandparents, Joseph Edward Murray and Julia Anna (Cerny) Murray. Julia was the daughter of Vojtech Cerny and Katerina (Padrta) Cerny. Julia was Vojtech and Katerina’s eighth child, born 15 February 1883 in Chicago. She married Joseph Edward Murray 15 June 1904. She and Joseph had two children, including my grandfather, Edward Albert Murray. Julia died in December of 1963 and is buried at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hinsdale, Illinois.

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Obituary of Vojtech Cerny

Posted by dwsuddarth on 24 June 2016

I managed to track down the obituary for Vojtech Cerny the other day. Vojtech died 4-August-1896 and the obituary was published two days later on 6-August-1896 in the Denni Hlasatel, a Czech language newspaper in Chicago. I tried to translate the obituary into English the best I could. If anyone knows Czech and has any corrections, please comment below! While it may not be an exact translation, I was able to pull out a lot of good genealogical information.

Vojtech Cerny Obituary - Denni Hlasatel

Death Notice

In deep grief from the sad news we announce to all our friends, that died in the Lord our beloved husband and father

VOJTECH CERNY

 on Tuesday at 12:10 in the morning at the age of 46 years 4 months. He was born in Kojákovice, Trebon District in Bohemia. Deceased’s funeral will be on Friday, the 7th, at 9:00 in the morning, from the house of mourning, 250 Maxwell Street, to the Czech- Polish Catholic cemetery. Quiet condolences for Katerina Cerny, grieving wife, Marie Hubalek, Katerina, Aloisie, Julie, Otilie, Klara, daughters. Vojtech, son. Jan Hubalek and Vojtech Steker, sons-in-law. Those who would like to participate in the funeral, kindly check in at the house of mourning, not later than 6:00 this evening.

 

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Vojtech Cerny – A Breakthrough?

Posted by dwsuddarth on 9 June 2016

I have to admit upfront that I wasn’t sure I should write this post. I am not sure of the conclusion here, but the evidence sure does seem like a major breakthrough in my research on Vojtech Cerny.

To recap, Vojtech Cerny is my mother’s father’s mother’s father (my gg-grandfather).  Vojtech was born about 1850 in Bohemia and came to the US sometime before 1870. I would really like to find where he came from in Bohemia, as well as his parent’s names, so that I can continue to trace the line back and discover more about this part of my ancestry.

I finally found him and his wife, Katerina, in the 1870 census in Chicago, living in the same residence as his presumed brother, Thomas Cerny (Using Thomas to Find Vojtech). I have nothing to confirm that Thomas and Vojtech are brothers, but there is definitely a relationship between the two, as Thomas and his wife witnessed the baptisms of all of Vojtech and Katerina’s children. I have not been able to find much more regarding Vojtech and Katerina, as the Chicago fire in October of 1871 destroyed a lot of the records I would be able to use to track him. Vojtech died in 1896, and the death certificate does not give much information regarding his origins. It does not list parents names and only lists ‘Bohemia’ for place of birth.

So, I have been concentrating on researching those who I know had some relation to Vojtech and his wife, including Thomas.

I have been able to trace Thomas forward in the census records until 1920, where he is found as the head of household, living at 2911 Wallace Street in the City of Chicago. I was unable to find him in the 1930 census, so I did a quick search of Chicago deaths. I found a Thomas Cerny who died 29 July 1925. Taking a chance, I ordered the death certificate from the Cook County, IL Clerk’s Office. When I received the record (which is immediately – you download it), I was certain that this was, in fact, my Thomas.

Thomas Cerny’s age at death is listed as 86, 4 years older than in 1920. Thomas’s wife on the death certificate is listed as Katie Cerny, so that matched as well. In addition, Thomas’s residence is 2915 S. Wallace. Although not matching the 1920 census record exactly, 2915 is enumerated on the census right next to 2911. It is very likely that the address on the death certificate is incorrect, and it should really be listed as 2911.

The best part, though, was down a little way. In the space for birthplace, it says ‘Trebon, Czechoslovakia’. In the space for the father’s name is listed ‘Vita Cerny’ and in the mother’s name is listed ‘Anna Janek’, both from Trebon.

If this is, in fact my Thomas (and I want to do a little more digging to really confirm that), then I may have found where Vojtech was born and his parents. I still have a lot of research to do to confirm the relationships and the fact that this is my Thomas. However, I am feeling quite certain that it is, and that this is a major breakthrough.

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Josef Padrta

Posted by dwsuddarth on 19 December 2015

In my continuing search for information regarding Vojtech and Katerina Cerny, I find that I am being pulled off into research about those with whom they had some kind of connection. This is a good thing, as researching friends, associates, and neighbors  (known as the FAN club) can often provide information regarding the main subject of research, in this case Vojtech Cerny.

In 1880, Vojtech and Katerina are enumerated in the Cook County, IL census living at 75 Meagher St. in Chicago. Also residing at 75 Meager is Joseph and Matilda Parda. It seems a pretty good bet that Joseph and Katerina (whose maiden name is Padrta) are related somehow, most likely siblings, as Katerina is 32 years of age and Joseph is 27. In addition, Joseph Padrta is buried in the same burial plot as Vojtech and Katerina at St. Adalbert Cemetery in Niles, IL.

Researching Joseph has been interesting. Born about 1853-1854 in Bohemia, he died in Chicago in 1889 at the age of 35. So far, I have located him in the 1882 and 1888 Chicago city directories, and located his widow Matilda in 1890 and 1896. In addition, I have found Matilda in the 1900 census, residing at 204 Maxwell St. in Chicago. In 1882, Joseph is living at 75 Meagher, but by 1888 he has moved to 204 Maxwell. According to the 1888 city of Chicago voter registration lists, he had resided in the precinct for 6 years, so most likely moved from 75 Meager to 204 Maxwell sometime in 1882.

Other information taken from the voter lists indicate that he was naturalized in the County Court of Cook County 13 October 1884. Looking for naturalization records, I was able to find the index card for his naturalization, which states that he immigrated to the US as a minor and had resided in the US for 14 years when naturalized. Unfortunately, Cook County naturalization records before 1904 do not provide information regarding place of birth, ports of departure or arrival, or any other information not recorded on the index card.

I have also been able to find the baptism records of the two children enumerated in 1880. Katherina Tilly Padrta was born 30 April 1878 and baptized on the 13th of May. Josef Bartolomey was born 23 August 1879 and baptized on the 31st of August. The sponsors for both children are Vojtech and Katerina Cerny, providing additional evidence for a brother – sister relationship between Jospeh and Katerina.

Continuing to search through the parish records, I was able to locate the marriage of Joseph and Matilda. They were married 3 June 1877 at St. Wenceslaus Church on DeKoven Street in Chicago. In both the baptism records and the marriage record, Matilda’s maiden name is listed as Autt.

I have a lot more research to do in regard to Joseph (and a lot more records to find!), but I am beginning to be able to fill in his story and hopefully be able to fill in the story of Vojtech and Katerina a little bit more as well.

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Using Thomas to find Vojtech

Posted by dwsuddarth on 14 October 2015

Vojtech Cerny is eumerated in the 1880 Chicago, Cook County, Illinois census residing at 75 Meagher St.  Enumerated as Albert (the English equivalent of Vojtech), his wife Katerina, and four children are also listed.  According to the 1888 Chicago Voter Registration list, he is a naturalized citizen, with papers filed in 1870. Additionally, he had resided in the state of Illinois and county of Cook for 20 years, which would place him in Chicago around 1868. Despite extensive searching, however, I could not find him in the 1870 census. Locating Vojtech in 1870 is very important to my research, as he and Katerina’s first child was born in 1871. Therefore, if I could locate Vojtech in the 1870 census, I could see whether or not he was married at the time of the census (technically, presumably married, as the 1870 census does not give relationships). If not, that would narrow down the time frame of his marriage to Katerina considerably. If it appeared that he was married at the time of the census, that would also be valuable information.

Vojetech and Katerina’s children were all baptized at St. Wenceslaus Parish in Chicago. The sponsors for each of the baptisms is Thomas and Katerina Cerny. It is very likely that Thomas is Vojtech’s brother. Finding Thomas in 1880 was easy. He is enumerated at 466 Union in the city of Chicago along with his wife, Katerina, and eight children. The oldest child, age eighteen, was born in Bohemia, but the next child, age fifteen, was born in Illinois. Therefore, Thomas and his family most likely came to the US sometime between 1862 and 1865, and the family should be on the 1870 census. However, a search for Thomas Cerny and variants did not turn up a family group which matched up.

To find the family, I did a search on Thomas, with no last name, and entered his calculated year of birth and place of birth. The very first result matched the family group. The name indexed is Thomas Jarnica. Clicking through, I found that this was, in fact, the right family, as the names, ages, and even the occupation of Thomas (works in grain elevator) match up.

I also got a nice little surprise. Living in the same house, enumerated as a separate family group, is Albert and Catherine Jarnica. Vojtech and Katerina. I had found them. The name Jarnica is not one that I would have thought of looking for. However, the phonetic pronunciation of Cerny is Chernee, so the first part of the name makes sense. But what about the ‘ca’ at the end? Doing some research into Czech surnames, I discovered that adding the ‘ca’ (hard ‘c’) sound at the end of the name is the diminutive, familiar form of the name. Therefore it is not hard to see how Cerny could be turned into Jarnica, with the stress on the first syllable.

So, it would appear that Vojtech and Katerina were married before the census was taken in June of 1870. Since their first child was born in August of 1871, they were most likely married late in 1869 or in the first half of 1870. By using the FAN principle (friends, associates, and neighbors) and looking into people associated with Vojtech and Katerina – in this case the sponsors listed on the baptisms of their children – I was able to finally locate Vojtech and Katerina in 1870 and an important research goal has been met.

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One Man – Many Names?

Posted by dwsuddarth on 24 October 2014

In researching my second great grandfather, Vojtech Cerny, I have discovered that it pays to be creative. I had found him in the 1880 Chicago census living at 75 Meagher St. In addition, I had found him in City Directories for 1884 through 1896, the year of his death, and also in 1875. I had not been able to find him in the directories for other years, though. Until now.

Vojtech Cerny can be found in the Chicago City Directories residing at 75 Meagher with the following names:

  • Vojtech Cerny
  • Albert Cerny
  • Albert Churney
  • Albert Jurney
  • Albert China
  • Albert Sergen
  • Albert Black

Albert is the English equivalent for Vojtech, so it is easy to see why he would be found with a first name of Albert. Also, it is easy to see how the name Cerny could be listed as Churney or Jurney, as the phonetic pronunciation of Cerny is Chernee.

China and Sergen are stretching it a little, but I am confident this is him, as the address and first name are correct. But what about Albert Black? Is this really my Vojtech Cerny?

It turns out that, yes, it most definitely is. In Czech, the name Cerny is equivalent to the English name of Black. Therefore, the name Vojtech Cerny is equivalent to Albert Black. Again, the address matches up – 75 Meagher. We know he lived at 75 Meagher in 1880 from the census. He is listed in the city directory in 1882 as Albert Sergen, again living at 75 Meagher. In fact, he lived at 75 Meagher until 1885, when he is found at 250 Maxwell, where both he and his wife, Katerina, died, she in 1893 and Vojtech in 1896.

Here are the listings found in the directory for 1878 through 1884, with the exception of 1880. I have not found him in the directory in 1880 yet, but do have him in the census, so I can match up the address.

  • 1878 – Albert Jurney, lab. house 75 Meagher
  • 1879 – Albert Churney, lab. house 75 Meagher
  • 1880 – Vojtech Cerny, 75 Meagher (from census)
  • 1881 – Albert Black, lab. house 75 Meagher
  • 1882 – Albert Sergen, lab. house 75 Meagher
  • 1883 – Albert China, lab. house 75 Meagher
  • 1884 – Albert Cerny, lab. house 75 Meagher

I am confident that this is the same man – Vojtech Cerny, my great-great grandfather.

Now, this is the only record I have found him in where the name is listed as Albert Black. However, it may not be the only one. Whenever we are looking for someone, we all know that we need to keep in mind alternative spellings and the different ways different people may pronounce a name, especially one that is foreign. However, we also need to be aware of the fact that the name may be ‘translated’ and given in some records as its English equivalent.

In this case Albert Black.

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Treasure in Parish Records

Posted by dwsuddarth on 11 October 2014

I recently found the maiden name of my mother’s father’s mother’s mother (got that?).  My mother’s father was Edward Albert Murray, the son of Joseph Murray and Julia Anna Cerny. Julia’s parents were Vojtech and Katerina Cerny.

I have always been intrigued by Vojtech and Katerina. They first appear in the 1880 Chicago, Cook Co., Illinois census. From other records, it has appeared that they both came to the US about 1869 or 1870. I have not been able to find either on the 1870 census. According to voter registration records, Vojtech was naturalized in the County Court of Cook County in 1870. Which means that his naturalization records were lost in the Chicago Fire of 1871. I have found bits and pieces of information here and there, but nothing to really help put together their lives and their story. Until recently.

Vojtech and Katerina were Catholic. I have always thought that looking through Catholic Church records – more specifically, parish records – may provide useful information. But I didn’t know what parish they belonged to. Chicago, even in the late 1800’s was a big place. The Catholic community was (and is) very large. Trying to find the parish they would have belonged to back in 1880 seemed like an almost impossible task. I wasn’t going to look through each parish in the city.

As I was doing some background reading about Czechs and Bohemians in the city of Chicago, I discovered that most of them settled on the Near West side of the city – right where Vojtech and Katerina were in 1880. In addition, I found that most belonged to St. Wenceslous Parish. It just so happens that FamilySearch has the parish records digitized and online, so off to FamilySearch to look through the records I go. And did I find records.

I started by looking through the marriage registers. I read them page by page, but did not find Vojtech and Katerina. Then I went to the baptism registers. And there I found a whole lot. I managed to find records for the baptisms of most of their children, including two who we didn’t know about before and do not appear on the 1880 census. These two children most likely died before the age of 10. But the best part is that the register lists the parent’s names – with the mother’s maiden name.

Some of them were hard to read. Others, though, were as clear as could be. And that’s when I found Katerina’s maiden name of Padrta. To say I was excited at this discovery would be an understatement. I was thrilled. Finding maiden names of women can be challenging. This will hopefully make looking for information on Vojtech and Katerina easier – I have already found who I believe may be a brother of Katerina living in the same building in 1880 (there were three families living in the building – most likely a three flat). It would make sense that someone of the same age with the same last name living in the same building is a relative. So now, I can search immigration and passenger records not only for Katerina, but for her (I hope) brother as well.

Someday I will be able to tell the whole story of Vojtech and Katerina. Until then, I will have a lot of fun looking.

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1940 Census

Posted by dwsuddarth on 4 April 2012

My great grandparents, Thomas Francis Leddy and Kathryn Daley Rice Leddy on the 1940 census.

1940 U. S. Census, Addison Township, DuPage County, Illinois, population schedule, 6th Representative District, Elmhurst City, enumeration district (ED) 22-3, sheet 16A, house number 314, household 403, Thomas F. Leddy household; digital images, National Archives and Records Administration (http://www.1940census.archive.gov : accessed 4 April 2012).

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Patrick H. Leddy

Posted by dwsuddarth on 12 July 2011

Recently, I decided to take a break from the Suddarth line and have been conducting research on one of my relatives on my mother’s side of the family.  Although not a direct ancestor, he has turned out to be one my favorites.

Patrick H. Leddy is my great-grandfather’s brother.  His parents, Andrew and Margaret Leddy, both from Ireland, came to the U.S. in the mid 1800’s.  Settling first in Milford, Worcester County, Massachusetts and then in Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania, they had five children: Mary A., born about 1855 in Massachusetts; Patrick H., born about 1857 in Pennsylvania; Margaret C., born 16 August, 1859 in Pennsylvania; Thomas Francis (my great-grandfather), born 15 November 1861 in Pennsylvania; and Barnard A., born 18 December 1864 in Pennsylvania.

The family moved to Amboy, in Lee County, Illinois sometime before 1870.  Around 1879, Patrick had gone to Leadville, Lake County, Colorado where he worked in mining.  In 1888, he had moved to Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri, where he continued his career in mining.  While living in Joplin, his brothers Thomas and Barnard joined him and together, they owned and operated the Golden Slipper Mine.  Patrick founded the town of Central City, Missouri (now a part of Joplin), which was destroyed by fire on 30 January 1900 at a loss of $10,000.  Insurance on the town was $5,000. Patrick must have found a way to rebuild, however, as the town is mentioned as in the ‘Biographical Record of Jasper County Missouri’, published in 1901.

Newspaper article about fire that destroyed Central City, MO
Missouri State Tribune, Jefferson City, Missouri
Page 4, Column 5
February 3, 1900

Patrick was also actively engaged in the Joplin community, taking part in the preparation of the Joplin exhibit of minerals for display at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.  In addition, Patrick was a member of the Benevolent Order of Elks and helped organize the lodge at Joplin in 1899.

After moving to Joplin, Patrick married Rebecca Adiline Thomas, on 24 May 1899, in Nevada, Vernon County, Missouri, just North of Joplin.  Rebecca (known as Addie) was born in Wisconsin and had been living in Cherryvale, Montgomery County, Kansas with her family at the time.  Patrick and Addie had two children, Thomas A., born October, 1899, in Arkansas, and Margaret A., born around 1902 in Missouri.  Their son Thomas died before 1910.  A death record has been found for a ‘Son R. A. Leddy’, died 30 June 1900 at the age of 8 months.  I believe that the ‘R.A.’ stands for Rebecca Adiline, and that this is Patrick and Addie’s son Thomas.

By 1910, Patrick had moved his family West, to Fresno County, California, where he once again was engaged in mining, this time for gold.  According to the 1910 Fresno County, California census, he was working on his own account.  In 1912, the United States was in the middle of a Presidential election, with Woodrow Wilson for the Democrats running against Republican Howard Taft and Teddy Roosevelt, nominated by the Progressive Party, also known as the ‘Bull Moose Party’.  Voter registration rolls for California show that Patrick was registered as a Democrat for the general election, held on 5 November, so he most likely voted for Wilson.  Wilson went on to win the election, capturing 40 out of 48 states.

By this time, Patrick had left mining and in 1912 was working as a newspaper man.  By 1916, he had opened a store in the town of Shaver Lake, California, just Northeast of Fresno.  Around 1925, Patrick moved further out of the city, to Big Creek, where he was a storekeeper at Camp 21.  The Big Creek project was a major undertaking, building dams and powerhouses in the Sierra Nevada mountains in order to generate power for the growing area.  He is enumerated on the 1930, Fresno County, California census living in ‘Big Creek and Powerhouse 1’ and working as a merchant in the commissary building.  According to voter registration lists, he had retired by November of 1930.

By 1934, Patrick had disappeared from the voter registration lists.  His wife, Rebecca (Addie), had moved back to Fresno and was living at 1845 Hammond in the city.  A death record has not been found for Patrick, but I believe he died between 1930 and 1934, as the last voter registration list he appears on is for 1930 and his wife his listed in 1934 (I have not found a list for 1932).  Addie continued to live at the address on Hammond through at least 1944 and most likely up until her death.  She died in Fresno on 21 May 1949 at the age of 82.

My research into Patrick continues.  I would like to find out more about him and get an even better picture of his life.  He seems to me to have been an adventurer, working at various times in his life as a miner, a newspaper man, and a storekeeper.  Although not a direct ancestor, Patrick continues to intrigue me.

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Patience Suddarth

Posted by dwsuddarth on 9 July 2011

One of my most elusive and most intriguing ancestors is Patience Suddarth.  I first encountered Patience on the 1820 Crawford County, Indiana census.  She is enumerated as ‘Patience Suddreth’ and is the head of household, 26 – 45 years of age.  Also in the household are two young boys, one 10 – 16 and the other under 10 years.  Enumerated immediately before Patience is ‘James Suddreth’ and immediately after is Jeremiah Tadlock, husband of James’s sister, Sarah Suddarth.

There is definitely a relationship between Patience, James and Sarah.  Just what exactly that relationship is has not been confirmed.  James is 25 years of age at this time (born 1795) and Sarah is 17 (born 1803).  Looking at the 1820 census record, Patience would have been between 26 and 45, so she could be a sister to James and Sarah, their mother, an Aunt, or some other relationship.  It is also not clear from this record whether Patience is a widow or had never married (we cannot be sure that Patience is the mother of the two boys in the household).  I have found no other records for Patience in Crawford or surrounding counties in Indiana, and I do not find her anywhere in the 1830 census.

I do, however, find someone who could possibly be her in the 1810 census.  The 1810 Casey County, Kentucky census lists a ‘Peashant Sutheard’, head of household, between the ages of 26 and 45.  Additionally, there is another female in the household, under 10 years of age, making her born between 1800 and 1810.  There are also two young boys in the household, both under 10, so born between 1800 and 1810 as well.  Is this the same Patience Suddarth as was found in Crawford County?

I believe it is.  The age on the two census records agrees.  If this is the same Patience, she would have been born between 1775 and 1784.  James Suddarth, enumerated in the 1820 census immediately before Patience, enlisted at the Casey County, Kentucky courthouse in 1813 to fight in the War of 1812.  Additionally, James is found in Casey County tax lists for the years 1812 – 1814.  There is also a John Suddarth found in the Casey County tax lists in 1809 and then again from 1812 through 1815 and in 1817.  I have not found John in the tax lists for 1810, 1811 or 1816.  Neither John nor James are found in the Casey County census in 1810.

So, we know that there are Suddarths in Casey County at the time.  We also know that James from Crawford County, Indiana, is from Casey County, Kentucky and is found on tax lists there.  But what about the children found in the census records?

The Suddarth family of Crawford County, Indiana consisted of 4 brothers and 1 sister, according to a letter written by Jerry Suddarth in 1899.  These brothers were James, born 1795; Benjamin, born 1801; John, born 1811; and Lewis, born 1812.  The sister was Sarah, who was born in 1803.  In 1810, the female found in the household is the right age to be Sarah.  Of the two boys, Benjamin was born in 1801, so he would have been under 10 at the time of the census.  James would have been 15, so it is possible that a mistake was made in the census.   James could also have been in another household at the age of 15 and this is another child who died young.  I think that with all the other evidence, that either of these situations is very likely.  The 1820 census in Crawford County, Indiana shows two boys, one under 10, and the other 10 to 16.  I think that it is very likely that the one under 10 is Lewis and that the one who is 10 to 16 is John (he would have been 9 at the time; it is very possible that he was reported and/or marked as being 10.  James and Sarah are each in their own households in 1820.  Benjamin has not been found in 1820.

No other records have been found which mention Patience.  This is not surprising for a female at that time.  I am pretty confident that the Patience found in 1810 is the same as the Patience found in 1820.  If that is the case, then I believe that she is not a widow, but that Suddarth is her maiden name.  This of course leads to all kinds of questions, such as whose children is she raising, both in 1810 and 1820?  Are they hers and she was never married or are they the children of a relative that she has taken in and is helping to raise?  I am sure that there are many other possibilities, as well.  Patience will remain one of my favorite ancestors to research, hoping to uncover more of her life’s story.

Posted in Census, Genealogy, Indiana, Kentucky, Methodology, Suddarth | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »