Do you have a brick wall in your genealogy? I would venture that most people have at least one. I have several, but the one that bothers me the most is in my Pertl line. My great-grandmother’s name was Mary Frances Pertle (the e was added on by Mary). She was born in 1875 to Anton Pertl and Lucinda Angeline Hollandsworth (Hollingsworth). Anton Pertl, and his progenitors, is the line I am interested in tracing. The information I have points back to Bohemia, but I have not been able to trace exactly where in the old country he and his family came from. Pursuing the Pertls will be a series of posts that follow my attempts to break down this wall.
Monthly Archive: March 2016
At the young age of 10, Marie Frances and her younger brother Frank Joseph, age 8, headed off from Chicago, Illinois to live with the Susank family in Hoisington, Kansas. I do not know if they really knew any more than the fact that their adoptive family shared the same ethnicity – Bohemian. Marie had already experienced a lot in her short life. She was born Marie Františka in Prague – which was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire – on September 6, 1905. She was the second child – and the first daughter – of Frank William Macháček and Marie Macek. Her brother, Václav (Jim) was two years older. Her father, Frank, was a cabinet-maker by trade. Her parents had been married in Prague, where her mother was born. The couple and their young children lived with Marie’s family in Nusle (Prague) prior to leaving for America . I’m not sure what precipitated the move. The only family either of them had in America was Frank Hodek, Marie’s great-Uncle, who had immigrated there in 1902. But by June of 1906, the family had left Prague for the land of opportunity.
I have been doing genealogy since my dad first introduced it to me back when I was in my early teens. I don’t recall the exact moment when I was bit by the bug. I have a letter I sent to my grandfather back in 1990 asking for information about his family, which is really the first documented item I have that I requested. Since then I have done genealogy off and on – mostly depending on what else I had going on and whether I could afford the Ancestry.com subscription. Back when I first started, your research options were nothing like they are today. I remember going to libraries to check out books, actual locations to talk to people who might have known the person we were searching for, even going to the national archives to look at census records on microfilm. The digital age has changed all that. I believe it started with Rootsweb, and then Ancestry.com and Cyndi’s List. Today there are way too many sites to even try to cover (just look at Cyndi’s List!!)