Ancestral Journeys

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Archive for the ‘City Directories’ 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!

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Posted in Bohemia, Census, Cerny, Chicago, City Directories, Genealogy, Methodology, 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 »