After all these years of doing family research, I seem to still be a rookie making dumb mistakes. I should know enough to search all possible sources of information however unlikely I think they are to bear fruit. Why did I not think that a site like Billion Graves would give me any clues in the Czech Republic?
Case in point: Trying to find Filek family roots in Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic, I searched all of the immigration records found thus far looking for “last residence”. I’ve been learning to use DigiArchiv of SRA Trebon databases; and I searched another Czech site, KdeJsme looking for people with that surname currently living in the Czech Republic. Of course, there is little chance that Filek families today are living where their ancestors lived 150 years ago.
Armed with the names of towns where these families live now, I turned to Family Search again in hopes of being able to find them in digitized but unindexed films. I selected SEARCH and then RECORDS and then clicked on Europe on the map and selected Czech Republic. The site first gives a list of those record collections that are indexed; then lists the unindexed records. Billion Graves was among the indexed records. For some reason, I was not aware that Billion Graves data extended beyond North America. I should have at least tried it.
I have not yet found the people I’m looking for, but I have many more clues to follow.
Moral: Leave no stone unturned.