Czech-Slovak Interest Group of Eastside Genealogical Society: Meeting Reports - 7 September 2019

Czech-Slovak Interest Group
Meeting Report for
7 September 2019

Group Chairs: Jo Herber and Norb Ziegler

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We had a very lively group meeting on September 7, with lots of good conversation and items to share.

Jo was delighted to find the grave location of one of her great-grandmothers with the use of the Bohemian National Cemetery on-line records, available through the web site of the Czech & Slovak American Genealogy Society of Illinois. Their databases, available to members, is a very valuable source of info for those researching relatives in Illinois, and especially in the Chicago area. Check it out at

She also brought along two large photo books of Central Slovakia which her Slovak relatives had given her when she visited them in Banska Bystrica in 2006.

Rose shared photos of a relative's wedding from her ancestral village, Vlčhov, in the Moravian hill country. All of the family group was attired in the colorful kroj of the area, with bright red the predominant color. She offered to bring her daughter's kroj for our next meeting.

Rose found in looking at some millennium archives that the most notable cultural influence from Czech lands was the Beer Barrel Polka. She had of photo of her father as a DJ on a Racine Wisconsin radio station. And she suggested that we have music at the November meeting along with our pot-luck lunch.

Barb mentioned that her mother's family was from Košice and that she had found a marriage certificate with her maternal grandmother's parents' names. However, it said that the father was "unknown." This led to a discussion about the fact that in previous centuries, young men were not allowed to marry until they had fulfilled their military service obligation of at least three years, thus delaying marriage (but not necessarily fatherhood.)

Helen brought two items about which she would like more information. The first is a game that looks similar to Chinese Checkers. The other is a costumed doll. Pictures of both are shown below. If you have any information about either, please send Jo an email.


JoAnn brought an article about English land records, showing that much English property was still subject to laws left over from feudal times and belonged to the crown or nobility. Another article featured the team that created the play "Dear Evan Hansen." One of the team had the surname Pasek, and JoAnn would love to find out if the person is a relative. She also shared photos of her parents' and grandparents' weddings.

John was very grateful to George who had done a significant amount of research on John's Slovakian family. He brought a document which could be attached as a codicil to your will that would designate persons to receive all your genealogical research. You can download the document here, and all felt it would be important to utilize such an instrument, so that all your valuable research is not discarded by accident.

John has made contact with a nephew who lives in California and who is the personal assistant to Shirley Jones, a former film star. In visiting the nephew, John was treated to personal tours of the LA Police Museum and Universal Studios.

Finally, John has had his DNA analyzed and confirmed that his heritage is Slovak, German and Cretan. He has found his grandfather's city in Crete and has researched much information about Minoan culture.

We welcomed Candice to the group. She is a long-time CSGI member and has found lots of information about other ancestors, but has encountered some significant "brick walls" with her Czech relatives.

Collie attended a 90th birthday celebration of a cousin in the Pittsburgh area and met a man who had attended school with the cousin and even dated her. They were reintroduced and now have formed a great friendship.

In earlier group meetings, Collie had shared a story about his wife finding a previously unknown half-sister through DNA testing. They have now met the half-sister and her family and have established a relationship.

Marilyn is now an "empty-nester," her family having moved into its own home. She is teaching her grandson to count in Slovak and a number of other languages. She has sent in a DNA sample for testing, but needs additional clarification to understand the results.

She had two announcements: There is a Slovak baseball player on the Cleveland Indians -Adam Pletko- and she found that Slivovitz is available at Total Wines.

Mike visited his maternal grandmother's town of Burnie, BC and spent some time exploring the area, including the church and newspaper office. He determined that his family had a "monopoly" on local hotels and found newspaper ads for the hotels and their "services." Through some old city records he discovered that the 500 square-foot "shack" where his grandparents used to live was just around the corner from the motel where he was staying in the old-town area. He mentioned that his son was rather dismayed to think that relatives had lived in such a humble abode.

NEXT MEETING - ANNUAL THANKSGIVING POTLUCK - Noon on November 16. Bring some Czech or Slovak food to share and CDs with Czech or Slovak music. Meeting is at the usual place: Kirkland Fire Station 22, 6602 - 108th Ave. NE, Kirkland.

Here are driving directions:
Directions: From the SOUTH, COMING ON HWY 405: TAKE EXIT 17. Be in the left lane so you can turn left at the light onto 116th Ave. NE. Proceed to the next light. Turn left at the light to cross over the freeway. Continue on this road (which becomes NE 72nd), past one traffic light and downhill to 108th Ave. NE. Turn left, proceed half a block, and Fire Station #22 is on the left-hand side. Park on the side or in the back.

From the NORTH, COMING ON HWY 405: TAKE EXIT 17. Be in the left- hand lane to turn left at the stoplight onto NE 72nd. Proceed down the hill to the next stoplight which is 108th Ave. NE. Turn left, proceed about half a block, Fire Station #22 is on the left-hand side. Park on the side or in the back.

Jo Herber

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