Friday, February 24, 2012

One Thing Leads to Another

I’m taking a short hiatus from doing specific family research.  So what I’m doing is just poking around.  Spent a little time on to look at some of their newer stuff and then I went back to to sort through the hints they’ve found for my trees.

Turns out some ancient distant cousins immigrated from Bohemia. Some of them appear on other researchers’ trees and show their home towns in the “old country”.  That’s exciting because I know nothing about where my kids’ paternal ancestors came from in Bohemia.

And who knows much about Bohemia at all? Not me. Other than Prague, I have no concept of cities and towns there.  In the late 19th century it was a part of the Austrian Empire and is now part of the Czech Republic.  Borders in that part of Europe changed frequently.  It would be interesting to see maps showing the borders before and after every war or treaty or conquest.

The result of trying to find the towns mentioned for my cousins was that I found a couple of 19th century maps online and saved them to my disc. Not sure how much detail I’ll be able to see.  I’d like to order hard copies, but that’s not practical while we’re on the boat.

Then I went back to and searched for immigration records for “Filek”.  The passenger lists compiled for U.S. arrivals don’t show a person’s last place of residence except for country.  So I concentrated on the German passenger lists that are available for ships leaving Hamburg. (Didn’t have to pay extra for that.) They’ll usually show the city and province.  I didn’t find any of my Fileks so I didn’t strike gold, but I did some real places where Filek families lived. 

They came from Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Romania.  At least that’s where the towns are now.  A couple of the Polish towns are far enough south that they may have been part of Bohemia at one time.  Maybe they all were.

Another thing I know little or nothing about is how much families moved around in the 19th century in Eastern Europe.  The industrial revolution was in progress.  Did they go where the jobs were?  What was the Austrian Empire like then?

There’s lots of research to do.

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating stuff! This is one of the projects I'm looking forward to doing when we get back to the US. I'm learning alot just reading what you're doing! Good luck.