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.