Ancestral Journeys

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Archive for the ‘Chicago’ Category

Taking Stock – What I Know and Where to go from Here

Posted by dwsuddarth on 14 October 2016

Periodically, I find it very helpful to stop and take a deep breath and consider what information I have found in my research on a particular subject. I find that this review can help focus my future research so that I know what it is I need to concentrate on and what type of records I should be looking for. Too many times in our research, we get going down a path and accumulate records without really stopping to consider what they are telling us or where they are leading us.

With that said, here is what I have found regarding Vojtech Cerny:

  • Vojtech Cerny was enumerated on the 1880 Chicago census living at 75 Meagher Street. The household includes the following:
    • Albert (Vojtech) Cerny – age 30 (so born about 1850), works in grain house, cannot read or write, born in Bohemia, parents born in Bohemia
    • Kate (Katerina) – wife, age 32 (so born about 1848), keeps house, cannot read or write, born in Bohemia, parents born in Bohemia
    • Mary – daughter, age 8 (so born about 1872), at school, born in Illinois
    • Annie – daughter, age 7 (so born about 1873), at school, born in Illinois
    • Kate – daughter, age 6 (so born about 1874), at school, born in Illinois
    • Louisa – daughter, age 7/12, born Nov. (1879), Illinois
  • Vojtech Cerny was enumerated on the 1870 Chicago census in the household of Thomas Jarnica (Tomas Cerny). The household includes the following:
    • Albert (Vojtech) Jarnica (Cerny) – age 20 (so born about 1850), works in elevator, no real or personal estate, born in Bohemia
    • Catherine (Katerina) – age 24 (so born about 1846), keeps house, born in Bohemia
  • Joseph and Matilda Padrta enumerated in the 1880 Chicago census at 75 Meagher Street (same address as Vojtech and Katerina). Katerina’s maiden name is Padrta (found in baptism records of children). Joseph and Matilda are buried in the same lot as Vojtech and Katerina at St. Adalbert’s Cemetery in Niles, Illinois. Joseph is most likely Katerina’s brother.
  • Vojtech and Katerina were Catholic. The baptisms of all their children are found at St. Wenceslaus Parish in Chicago. Mother’s (Katerina) maiden name given as Padrta in baptism records. Sponsors are Tomas and Katerina Cerny.
  • City directory listings for Vojtech have been found tracing his location from 75 Meagher Street to 250 Maxwell Street.
  • Chicago voter registration records:
    • 1888: Term of residence in county – 20 years, state – 20 years. Naturalized, date of papers 1870, County Court of Cook County.
    • 1890: Address listed as 250 Maxwell, noted as Albert Cerny. Term of residence in county – 20 years, state – 20 years. Naturalized, date of papers 1870, County Court of Cook County.
  • Vojtech Cerny death certificate (Dept. of Health, City of Chicago):
    • Name: Albert Cerny
    • Born in: Bohemin
    • Age: 46 yrs., 4 months
    • Lived in Illinois 46 years (this is not correct)
    • Died: 4 August 1896
    • Married
    • Occupation: Labor
    • Place of Death: 250 W. 13th Place (Maxwell)
    • Undertaker: Jos. Schultz, 151 DeKoven St.
  • Vojtech Cerny obituary:
    • Published in Denni Hlasatel, 6 August 1896
    • Died 46 years, 4 months
    • Born Kojakovice, Trebon District, Bohemia
    • Funeral Friday, 7 August 1896 from 250 Maxwell
    • Burial in Czech-Polish Cemetery (St. Adalbert’s)
    • Katerina Cerny – wife
    • Daughters: Marie Hubalek, Katerina, Aloisie, Julie, Otillie, Klara
    • Son: Vojtech
    • Sons-in-Law: Jan Hubalek, Vojtech Steker
  • Vojetech Cerny baptism:
    • Parish registries, Kojakovice, Trebon District
    • Date of birth: 13 April 1850, Kojakovice, house 37
    • Date of baptism: 13 April 1850
    • Catholic, male, legitimate
    • Father: Vit Cerny, farmer, Kojakovice, house 37; legitimate son of Vavrince Cerny, farmer, Kojakovice, house 37 and Markety nee Koranda, daughter of farmer of Petrovice, house 15
    • Mother: Anna, legitimate daughter of Vojtech Kojan (deceased), farmer, Kojakovice, house 25 and Alzbety nee Ctortnik (hard to read), daughter of farmer, Kojakovice, house 24

Whew! That’s a lot of information! So where do we go from here? Looking at what I have, I have six to do’s (I could go on chasing lots of records, but these six items are what I really should concentrate on next):

  1. I have information about Vojtech’s birth and death, but not his marriage. He and Katerina were presumably married prior to June 1870 (date of the 1870 census), but not sure if in Chicago or in Bohemia. Have already searched parish books in Chicago for years 1868 – 1870 with no luck, so need to look through parish registries in Bohemia.
  2. Locate Katerina’s birth in the parish registries. I have her approximate date of birth and her maiden name.
  3. Locate immigration record for Votech (naturalization record would have been lost in the Chicago fire of 1871). Immigration date would be prior to June 1870. However, do not know the port of immigration. Most people came through New York (Castle Garden) at that time, but there were many other ports.
  4. Assemble timeline for Vojtech. Timelines can be very useful tools in laying out an ancestor’s life. They can help organize missing pieces and direct further research.
  5. Have found baptisms of Vojtech and Katerina’s children. Would like to find baptism records of Vojtech’s possible siblings in Bohemia.
  6. Begin putting together a family group sheet for Vit Cerny, Vojtech’s father.

Some of these can be done concurrent with each other, while others should be done before other items. For example, I can put together a timeline while I am searching for the marriage. However, I really need to find the marriage before looking for immigration records as the marriage date can help narrow down a possible date of immigration.

I have a lot of work to do yet, but the hunt will be fun. If you can come up with anything else you feel I should add to the list, let me know!

Posted in Bohemia, Census, Cerny, Chicago, City Directories, Genealogy, Methodology, Padrta | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in Cerny, Chicago, Murray, Padrta, Photos | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

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.

 

Posted in Cerny, Chicago | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in Cerny, Chicago | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in Cerny, Chicago, Genealogy, Padrta | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in Cerny, Chicago, City Directories, Genealogy, Methodology | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in Cerny, Chicago, Genealogy, Methodology | Leave a Comment »