Tag Archive: Genealogy

Pursuing the Pertls – Is this Bertel a Pertl or just a distaction

Pertl Anton 1870 chicago census

I know other researchers might say at this point I should continue the path I was on researching Vincent/Jim Pertl before jumping down the rabbit hole I found at the end of the last post. And maybe I should. But, I’m not going to. I’m comfortable that my research has been documented well enough that I can pick up where I left off with Vincent if this bright shiny object (BSO) turns out to be nothing. For more information on BSOs just google “genealogy and bright shiny objects” and you will find plenty of information, mostly about how to record them to research later. In my case however, although I was in the process of researching Vincent, my true goal is to find where Anton and his family came from in Bohemia. This may lead me closer to that goal, and so I am going to pursue it.

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Pursuing the Pertls – Searching for Brothers

In my last post, I was looking at different methods I could use to track down Anton’s origins. One of these was to look into Anton’s potential siblings. Again I want to start with the information that I have. In this case, that information is mostly secondary, handed-down information.  After looking back through my original version of this post, I realized that I do not know if some of the people mentioned below are still alive – therefore a couple of the names have been changed.

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From Prague to Kansas with love – an orphan’s story

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.

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So it starts

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!!)

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