Re: [S-R] New guy hoping for some help
- Klement Blazina - Do you have the village of birth? This is your key.
What specific records have you examined?
This forum will not have many (if any) Croat researchers, but can help with the general pre 1918 Hungary emigration issues (Croatia once a part of former Hungary).
I will admit that I'm much better with research on the other side of the big pond (Europe) and the first transition to the US. I've never had to chase people around America.
What documents have you examined? Have you petitioned BCIS/INS, Social Security, original family church?
http://www.iabsi.com/gen/public/ancestral_village.htm describes way to identify the village name.
It is extremely useful to search for friends and families who may also have immigrated. Immigrants tended to stick together. Often they traveled together or settle close to their friends, family or villagers. Using the "sticky theory" you can often find your subject. (being a victim of bad misspellings, poor transcriptions, poor handwriting and the like.)
More suggestions on searching in Ellis Island:
Opat - Good for you, you have a village name. The bad news is that your village is in former Bohemia, now in Czech Republic. CR archives should hold the church records, giving you birth, marriage death records back about 200-ish years (nobody was keeping records on peasants before the 1700s). CR archives have not been filmed by the Mormons (read: nearly free and accessible research.) You will need to go to the Czech Archives, write, or hire a researcher to do extracts for you.
Go to http://forums.delphiforums.com/iarelative/messages (you have to sign up). There is a very knowledgeable Czech researcher there who knows the ins and outs of the CR archives.
Regarding the reticence of people to respond to you. There are many reasons, but here are some generalizations. 1. You are a veritable stranger probing into their personal, family life. What are your motives? Why should I trust you? 2. People from poor peasant background have by and large remained poor even till today. They are people who are surviors. They spend all their time working. Who has time for idle hobbies like genealogy? 3. Genealogy is simply unimportant to most. They are surrounded by their families and "cousins" and see no reason to connect the dots. The government didn't even support or assist genealogy researchers until 1993. 4. Emigrants who left are gone. Gone. The people they corresponded with are dead. No one bothered to keep up the correspondence. If you look at immigrant correspondence back home, it was often brief and only the most important news was passed along - oftentimes only the deaths.
Most of these people simply don't know a lot about their past. Only the folks above 55 know much of anything about the past. Even that generation is in the dark about many things, since it was their parent's generation who stayed in contact with emigrants.
May I suggest a different approach? You need to gain their confidence, and share with them what you know before you begin to pummel them with questions. You will have many years to ask questions. Yes, they may be burning in your mind, but you need to establish a working relationship first. Simply put, you probably already know more than they do.
Hope this helps,
> From: "woodchip_2" <woodchip_2@...>
> Date: 2004/07/15 Thu AM 07:56:20 CDT
> To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: [S-R] New guy hoping for some help
> Hi, I'm Paul Andersen and I am helping my cousins look into their
> family, the side we do not share. I have done quite a bit of research
> on my Danish ancestors. I hope someone here can direct me to some
> good resources or will have some knowledge about the surnames I am
> searching for.
> The best place to start seems to be with a Klement Blazina. He was
> born 27 Sept 1887 in Croatia. I found a record of his emigration to
> the US in 1903 - He came to someplace near Chicago to his father, Luka
> (I think) Blazina. At some point, he moved to Virginia Minnesota. He
> raised a family there with his wife, Elizabeth Polic. All their
> children were born in Virginia but I have no marriage record for them.
> Elizabeth was also born in Croatia (1 Oct 1892) and I have not been
> able to find her in the Ellis Island data. When Klement came, he
> appeared to be traveling with a companion whose last name was Polic
> and he was headed for the same city as Klement to meet his
> father-in-law Blaz Blazina. So, I suspect there was some family
> connection but I have NO information to substantiate this.
> Through my cousins, I made contact with a family member (descended
> from the sister of Elizabeth Polic) but he has not been willing to
> share any significant amount of information with us. I have non feel
> for the political and economic situation in that part of the worrld,
> perhaps someone could write a few words about that to give me a better
> sense of his situation and why he may be reluctant to answer some
> Another cousin is interested in the surname Opat. I hit on a gedcom
> with some information but it appears to have some significant errors
> in it. I am lookng for information about a William Opat, born in
> Kralovitz, Pilsen, Bohemia about 1853. He apparently came to the US
> where he married Emily Lacina around 1882 in Iowa.
> Elizabeth and Klement are long gone, their children are dead or lost
> to Alzheimer's, so does anyone have anything that might help us?
> Paul Andersen
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