Showing posts with label Kleinert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kleinert. Show all posts

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Feeling like Hermione Granger tonight

For those of you who are Harry Potter fans, or have kids who like the Harry Potter movies, do you remember that part in the Sorcerer's Stone when Hermione says she was doing "a bit of light reading" and whips up this enormous book? That's kindof how I felt today. I felt like I needed a bit of a distraction and wanted to take on a little project, separate from the other stuff I've been working on. It turned out to be more than just a little distraction though.

I thought revisiting the possible birthplace of John Kleinert would fit the bill for what I was looking for. I have a copy of his 1885 marriage record, a registry entry from Kankakee County, Illinois, which includes a question about place of birth. For John, the village of Tauenzinow, Germany is shown. So I fired up ole' faithful, , and got to the Meyers Orts Gazetteer here . Meyers Orts is pretty much the answer to decoding all those German place names that may or may not still exist. You find a record here in the US with the name of town as it was known in the 1860s but that doesn't mean you'll just be able to find it on a map. Because of all the boundary changes and partitions of the area now covering Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland and any number of other Eastern European countries, you're going to need help finding that 19th century place name. Meyers Orts is your first step.

Now don't go thinking it'll be quite that easy though. Oh no. Meyers Orts is written in Gothic script. And it's in German. And it's full of abbreviations. So go ahead and pull up the name of your town and see what happens. Think you can do it without help on the first try? If you can, you're way better at this than I am. Luckily, I found a great guide available through It gives general information about the gazetteer as well as an immensely helpful section on deciphering the Gothic alphabet which makes up the abbreviations, followed by a guide to exactly what all those letters mean. The guide and tips can be found here (you can just click on the guide and tips tabs as you go along to help find the info you need as you need it). There's also a pretty useful wiki here

Here's what the entry for Tauenzinow looks like:

I know what I got from it, namely that this place is no longer part of Germany, but Poland. Now what can you find out about your own pre-WWI German place names? If you're anything like me, you'll find that maybe those German ancestors of yours weren't quite as German as you thought.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Kleinerts and Boldas cont'd...

So in the last post, I was talking about the little mysteries that opened up after I visited a cemetery and found not only the family members I had been looking for, but someone with the same name as my Grandma's paternal Grandfather as well. But his birth date was about 10 years off and his death date was considerably later than we had believed possible. So was this the right person, or someone else? We ordered his death certificate and found some answers

First off, the John Kleinert in the record who died in 1926 is identified as the John Kleinert buried at St. Joseph's. So we know they are one in the same. Second, his last address is shown as 2638 Ward St in Chicago. This is the real kicker because that is the same address that is found for Julius Bolda in the 1915 Chicago City Directory as well as the address shown for his widow, Marie in the 1930 Census. So the John Kleinert who died in 1926 had been living with Marie, as well as other family members, both Kleinerts and Boldas throughout the years before and since Julius' death. John's brother, Otto, is shown living at that same Ward St address in the 1923 Chicago City Directory, along with members of the Bolda family. John himself is found back in Kankakee Co., in the 1920 census living with his new wife, Marie-the woman who appeared as informant on John's death certificate. I can pretty much say that I'm convinced that this John Kleinert is my Grandma's Grandfather. But that still doesn't explain everything.

The 1926 death certificate shows Marie Kleinert as his wife and someone who was living at the same residence given for John. So if Josephine got remarried in 1910, and we now know that John hadn't died but also got remarried, that means we're looking at divorce. Without currently knowing when John's second marriage occurred (this marriage is not listed on the Cook County Clerk's records website nor in's Chicago marriage records collection and the 1920 census does not ask for the year of marriage; this, along with their residence in Kankakee back in 1920 suggests that the marriage occurred in Kankakee rather than Cook Co but both should be checked) I'm looking at a date range for the divorce sometime between 1900, when John and Josephine appeared together on the census, and 1910, when Josephine remarried.

The Cook Co., Circuit Court maintains divorce records at the Daley Plaza in Chicago which is where I'm headed next Friday so I'm going to make a point of searching the divorce index to find it and ordering the record.

We still don't know why the tombstone has his birth 10 years off from the census. The informant on his death record was his second wife, Marie, and the date she gave on that form does coincide with what was shown on the census records so why was it different on the tombstone. All I've got now is "Who knows!" There were four people on that side of the stone and another group on the other side making a lot of names and dates. Anything could have happened to get the dates confused, mixed up, etc. We will be finding and ordering the marriage record for John and Marie however, to make sure everything fits and I'll be taking note of what John gives for his date of birth for this record as well.

Gearing up for next week

Things have been a little quiet here lately mainly because I've been enjoying a little downtime. There was no ProGen assignment this month and I haven't started with CD 2 of the NGS Home Course yet. So I've just been doing a little prep work for a few things I've got planned for next week. I'll have about 2 1/2 days to run around a do a little record retrieval and brief research. It's not long but I'm excited. I'm going to stop in Kentland, IN to pick up the marriage record for my paternal Great Grandparents on one day, then on the next day I'm taking a longer trip out to Rockville, Parke Co., IN to look for land records and possibly, if I have time, Probate/Court records. The last day will be spent in Chicago looking up divorce records and possibly some vital records that I haven't been able to get yet. So it's going to be a jam packed few days, can't wait!

In the meantime, I've been biding my time visiting a couple of area cemeteries looking for some family graves and names from my father's side. I succeeded in finding Julius Bolda (1868/1869-1915) and his wife, Marie (Ptak) (1868/1869-1943) at St Joseph Catholic Cemetery in a suburb of Chicago. Julius and Mare were my paternal Grandmother's maternal Grandparents. But they weren't the only ones who showed up in the double-sided plot; Grandma's maternal Grandfather was there too as were a couple of other relatives from both sides of the family. Seeing him there, just outside of Chicago, opened up a few mysteries for me to try to unravel.

John Kleinert (c.1859?-1926), like the Boldas, was an immigrant to this country. Naturalization records still need to be consulted, but according to the 1900 census, he arrived in 1882 from Germany. He settled in Kankakee Co., IL (far south of Chicago) and married Josephine Dellibac (1868/69-1937), a first generation American with French Canadian roots, on 22 Dec 1885. He states that he is 27 y/o, she 17 y/o, and it is the first marriage for both of them. They are seen together on the 1900 census and then things change a bit. In the 1910 census Josephine is found living in Chicago working as a live-in servant. John is not with her, in fact, she marries John Dettman later in 1910. So what happened to John? Did he die? We thought so but hadn't gotten to persue it. Seeing his tombstone at St Joseph's changed that theory because two things were amiss with the tombstone:
1-his date of birth is about 10 years younger than his age on his marriage license and on the 1900 census
2-the tombstone dates that he died in 1926 though we hadn't seen him with Josephine in 1910 and she was even remarried that year

Here's the stone:

So could the John Kleinert buried at St Joseph's be a different John Kleinert? Not likely since he was quite literally, buried with the Boldas, the parents of his son's wife, his in-laws. Also, there was no other John Kleinert who was of this age and certainly not another one who was so intimately acquainted with the Boldas that he should be buried with them. In fact, we even have a picture of John Kleinert standing with the (presumably) newly widowed Marie Bolda. So we dug a little deeper and got the death record for John Kleinert who died in 1926....